Rabies clinics help keep down cases; immunization required to renew pet licenses

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By Beth Herrinton-Hodge

Did you know that state and local law requires pet owners to vaccinate their dogs, cats, and ferrets for rabies each year?

Did you know a county license is also required for these pets? Owners need to show proof of rabies vaccine to purchase a license.

This is not just another instance of government control and red tape. Rabies vaccination and licensure have been credited with keeping the number of rabies cases low in the state of Kentucky and across the country.

In Kentucky, there have been a handful of rabies cases. Most of these involve bats and skunks. A few possible cases have been submitted to state offices from Shelby County, but none have come back with positive results.

 “There have been no confirmed cases of rabies in Shelby County for a number of years,” said Amy Tingle of the environmental services office at the Shelby County Health Department. “This is because people are getting their pets and farm animals vaccinated.”

This is good news.

To keep our record on a good track, the health department and the Shelby County Animal Control office teams with local veterinarians to offer low-cost rabies vaccine clinics throughout the county to make it easy to have your animals vaccinated and licensed.

“We’ve offered this service for years. We have flyers from the event as far back as 1982,” said Donna Dickerson of Kresin Veterinary Clinic. “It’s a good service for Shelby County.”

Dr. Jennifer Way, owner of Kresin’s clinic, will be administering vaccinations at the Shelby County Fairgrounds this Saturday, July 14 from 10-12 noon. As a high school student Dr. Way assisted Dr. Jon Kresin in offering these clinics.

In addition, Dr. Melissa Lipps of the Shelby Vet Clinic will offer the same services on Saturday, from 9-11 a.m. at the Waddy Ruritan Club, and from 12:30-2:00 p.m. at the Bagdad Ruritan Club.

“Pet licenses expire on June 30 each year. You can always purchase renewals at the Shelby County Animal Shelter on Kentucky Street,” said Bradley King, Shelby County’s Animal Control Superintendent.

“We like to offer vaccination clinics out in the community around the end of June through early July to encourage annual renewal of licenses and annual vaccinations. It’s only five dollars for each service, which is much less than you’ll pay for vaccinations elsewhere. 

“With a county license, we have a record of your pet in our files. If your pet ever gets lost, we can use our records to help get them returned to you.”

 “These vaccination clinics help us, by keeping the incidence of rabies cases down. It also helps the animals, by keeping them healthy and safe.”