Rabies clinics coming to location near you

Published 4:17 pm Thursday, June 9, 2016

By Selena Price | Special to the Advertiser

Rabies clinics will be held at multiple locations around the county over the next two Saturdays.

The clinics have been held annually on the second and third Saturdays in June since 1986.

One of the clinic organizers, Melanie Cox, said that what began with only a few locations has grown along with the county to help conveniently accommodate as many people as possible.

Cox, who managed her husband’s veterinary hospital for 21 years, will work along with Dr. Thomas Cox and his staff to carry out the clinics.

“Dr. Cox is the rabies officer for Chilton County,” Melanie Cox said. “This is a position that is appointed by the county Board of Health and approved by the state Health Officer and state Veterinarian each year. As the Rabies Officer for the county, it is his responsibility to hold the Rabies Clinics each year.”

The state sets the cost of rabies vaccinations for the county-wide clinics each year, and though the cost has increased this year to $12, it is still lower than a visit to the veterinarian’s office.

Additionally, many find the clinics to be more convenient than a vet appointment.

“We have been told by many of the clinic participants that it is much easier for them to go minutes from their home with a pet than try to drive all the way into town,” Melanie Cox said. “We try to cover as much of the county as we can in those two weeks for the convenience of the citizens of Chilton County.” Cox said.

Locations for this year’s clinics are as follows: June 11 clinics will be at Garrison Farm and Home Center in Thorsby from 12:30-1:45 p.m., Isabella High School from 2-2:45 p.m., Maplesville High School from 3-3:45 p.m., Chilton County High School from 4:15- 5 p.m., and Verbena Annex from 5:15-5:45 p.m.; and June 18 clinics will be at Jemison High School from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and Enterprise Fire Station No. 1 from 2:30-3:15 p.m.

Those who would like to bring their pets to participate in this year’s clinic may bring any domestic animal 12 weeks of age and older to receive the vaccination and be given a rabies certificate for each pet vaccinated.

“For the safety of everyone’s pet, it is very helpful for the owners to keep dogs on leashes and cats preferably in carriers or leashed,” Cox said. “If the participant has multiple animals, Dr. Cox or his technician will go out to the vehicle and vaccinate the pets after the person has paid for their shots and received their certificates.”

Cox said it is also helpful to the workers issuing the certificates if participants bring the animals’ information written out or previous certificates.

“It is state law that all domestic pets over 12 weeks of age be vaccinated against rabies,” Cox said. “It doesn’t matter if your pet is an indoor pet or if it is not around other pets. Already this year in Chilton County there has been one confirmed case of rabies reported to the State of Alabama Health Department, and according to our resources with the state, we believe that it is possible that a door-to-door rabies inspection program is to be put in place this year.”

Cox went on to quote the Montgomery County Rabies Officer’s site and said, “These verification programs are not an effort to punish pet owners who do not comply with the law, but rather a public health effort to prevent a deadly disease among the human population. We hope to see you at the annual Rabies Clinics this year!”