Low cost rabies clinic planned to raise awareness

Posted By elaine on April 12, 2010

PET INJECTIONRabies is a growing concern here on the Front Range and in an effort to remind pet owners to protect their pets and their families from rabies, a rabies vaccination clinic is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Big R in Falcon, 14155 E. U.S. Highway 24.    Dogs and cats will be vaccinated by licensed veterinarians for $5 each, or a maximum charge of $20 per family. A brief wellness exam is included.

     The clinic and accompanying public education campaign has been prompted by an unprecedented rise in rabies among skunks in El Paso County and statewide, and by the critical nature of rabies—almost always fatal once symptoms begin. The rabies vaccination clinic is co-sponsored by the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment, El Paso County and the Colorado Springs Area Veterinary Society. Veterinarians, veterinary technicians and many others are volunteering their time to make this event possible.    Rabies vaccine will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and supplies are limited. The clinic will close at 5 p.m. or as soon as vaccine supplies are exhausted.

Important information for pet owners attending the clinic:


  • Dogs and cats must be on leashes or in carriers.
  • Bring shot records if you have them—no requirement.
  • The clinic will accept cash only—please bring small bills.  

      Vaccination of cats and dogs is particularly critical now because rabies is at epidemic levels among skunks and disease is spreading to other wild animals and to pets. In 2009, 13 rabid animals were recorded in El Paso County, including eight skunks, a fox, a horse, a mountain lion and two bats. Already in 2010, El Paso County has recorded three rabid skunks; the 25 rabid animals statewide so far in 2010 include skunks and a cat.

    “This resurgence of rabies in skunks is concerning because skunks often encounter dogs and cats,” said Kandi Buckland, R.N., M.P.A., executive director of the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment. “Un- or under vaccinated dogs and cats that are exposed to rabies have an extremely high chance of getting infected and dying from the disease. These pets also pose a tremendous risk to humans because they can bring rabies into the home,” Buckland said.

     “Our goal of the one-day clinic is to raise awareness about the importance of rabies vaccination in pets and livestock,” said Dr. Cor VanderWel, D.V.M., president of the Colorado Springs Area Veterinary Society. “Rabies vaccinations must be given regularly, every year or every three years, depending on the vaccine used and should be administered by a licensed veterinarian.”  

     “Vaccination is a simple and effective way to protect your pets—and your family—from this deadly disease,” VanderWel said.    The rabid skunks and other animals in El Paso County have been found mostly in northern and eastern areas, but some rabid animals have been found within Colorado Springs city limits, and the Health Department cautions the public that the threat is present anywhere in the county.  Pueblo County is also holding rabies clinics. Click here for times and dates!

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