LAURINBURG — In partnership with the Scotland County Health Department, three local veterinary practices will offer discounted rabies vaccines for dogs and cats throughout the month of April.
Academy Animal Hospital, Scotland Veterinary Hospital, and X-Way Road Animal Hospital will all offer rabies shots at a discounted price of $8.50 to dogs and cats, as approved by the county board of health earlier this week.
According to M.M. Labib, the health board’s veterinarian member, pets may be inoculated with either a one or three-year vaccine depending on the specific animal’s age, health, and vaccination status. The portion of the vaccine’s cost covered by the county — $1.50 — will be reimbursed by the state division of public health.
“Whenever states and counties make programs like this, they put very little money forward and protect the lives of pet owners and veterinarians,” Labib said.
Rabies vaccination is required by law for dogs and cats in North Carolina, and Labib said it is among the most effective ways for pet owners to protect themselves from the incurable disease. That is true especially for those living in rural areas outside of municipal limits, as pets may not be wary of wildlife.
“Your dog can act as an intermediate host when it comes in contact with a stray or a raccoon,” he said, adding that children have a particular penchant for stray animals.
“When somebody finds a stray pet, the majority of the time they are kids and if they get scratched by an infected dog they can get rabies and their life is on the line.”
The last documented case of rabies in the county presented itself in May 2013 when a fox attacked a Laurinburg woman near her home off of Havelock Drive. According to county animal control officer Adam Liles, the county sees one case of rabies about every two years, typically in a wild animal.
“We’re very fortunate because a lot of the counties bordering us have a lot more,” he said.
To take advantage of the month long vaccination discount, call Academy Animal Hospital at 910-276-6068, Scotland Veterinary Hospital at 240-0144, or X-Way Road Animal Hospital at 910-276-5300.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 17. Follow her on Twitter @emkaylbg.