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Free Rabies Clinic Offered for Anne Arundel Pets

To curb the county’s number of rabies cases, which can be transmitted to people, a free rabies vaccination clinic is planned for local pets.

Dog getting a rabies shot. Photo Credit: File|Patch
Dog getting a rabies shot. Photo Credit: File|Patch
Make sure your furry best friends are rabies free.

Anne Arundel County is offering residents the chance to learn about rabies and also vaccinate their pets in an effort to eradicate the disease.

“I am excited to announce May as Rabies Awareness Month in Anne Arundel County,” says County Executive Laura Neuman. “We have seen an uptick in rabies cases in recent years, but this important initiative, paired with services offered by our Health Department and Animal Control, will better enable us to protect our families and our pets.”

In 2013, Anne Arundel County had 40 confirmed cases of animal rabies: 10 bats, 27 raccoons, 2 groundhogs and 1 cat.

You might not own a bat, raccoon, or groundhog as a pet, but the county is strongly suggesting that all pet owners take their furry loved ones in for a rabies vaccine.

Animal Control opens a rabies and microchip clinic every Thursday from noon – 3 p.m. in Millersville: 411 Maxwell Frye Road. The hours will be extended until 8 p.m. on May 15.

That’s not all that the county is doing to prevent rabies cases. There will be a free rabies clinic on May 18 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Owensville Primary Care, 134 Owensville Road in West River. Although the clinic is free, donations are accepted to help offset the costs for the vaccinations.

According to Maryland state law, all dogs and cats older than four months must be vaccinated against rabies.

Animal Control asks that all dogs brought to the clinic be on a leash, cats must be in carriers, and any animals with signs of aggression should be muzzled for the safety of the other animals and people in line.

Getting your pets vaccinated isn’t the only step to rabies prevention. The county is telling its residents to please make every effort to discourage wild animals from roaming through the backyard or through the trash. Keep the lids on trash cans sealed tightly. Of course, make sure the little ones in your home are safe by teaching them to not play with any stray critters that they might think are completely harmless.

The Department of Health will be hosting hour-long presentations all through May to talk about rabies symptoms, transmissions and ways to prevent the disease. Sessions will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The four sessions will take place on the following dates:

May 7 in the Annapolis Area Library
May 8 in the West County Area Library
May 15 in the Mountain Road Library
May 20 in the Deal Community Library

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