Hamilton

Hamilton aims to vaccinate 500 pets against rabies in 1 day

The recent outbreak of rabies in Hamilton has prompted the city to hold a low-cost vaccine clinic for dogs and cats.

Low cost mass vaccination clinic will protect pets for $25

More than 100 dogs and cats were vaccinated in a free popup clinic in Hamilton's Landsdale neighbourhood on May. (Kelly Bennett/CBC)

The recent outbreak of rabies in the Hamilton area is prompting the city to target vaccinating 500 cats and dogs in one day.

The mass, low-cost clinic will offer first-come, first-served vaccinations against rabies for $25.

Hamilton Public Health and Animal Services is hosting the clinic after rabies was found in local raccoons, batsa fox and a cat this year.

The infected cat, found in rural Ancaster, was the first case of the disease spreading to a domestic animal in more than 20 years.

The outbreak in the Hamilton area is the first in the province since 2005.

It began last December and the number of cases has continued to grow. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, which had successfully eradicated raccoon rabies a decade ago, has distributed tens of thousands of rabies vaccine bait packs in the area to try to contain the outbreak.

As of mid-July, testing had found more than 120 rabid animals, 72 raccoons and 48 skunks.

More than 10 local veterinarians and vet techs are volunteering at the clinic. A free clinic in the Landsdale neighbourhood in May drew more than 100 people.

Every dog and cat older than three months should be immunized against rabies, the city says. It's the law and it "protects the entire family against rabies."

People will also be able to register their cats and get dog licences at the clinic.

Every dog older than three months must have a licence.


What: Low-cost rabies clinic

When: Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Gage Park, 1000 Main St. E.

How much: $25, cash only

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