Kitchener-Waterloo

Humane society holds low-cost rabies vaccination and microchip clinics this month

Online registration is now open for the Humane Society's low-cost rabies vaccination and microchip clinic, which was delayed by COVID-19. 

This year is by appointment only and owners can't accompany pets

The Humane Society is encouraging pet owners to keep their communities rabies-free by having their animals vaccinated against the disease. (Frank Rumpenhorst/AFP/Getty Images)

Online registration is now open for the Humane Society's low-cost rabies vaccination and microchip clinic, which was delayed by COVID-19. 

Held in partnership with Huron Perth and Waterloo Region Public Health, the clinics are held by the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth.

"In past years, these clinics were offered in September/October on a first come basis. This year, we weren't sure if we'd be able to offer them at all, due to COVID-19." executive director Kathrin Delutis said in a news release. 

"At the end of the day, we recognized we needed to continue providing these services and supporting the pet owners in our communities, and we believe we have found a way to do just that."

During the month of November, rabies vaccinations and microchipping will be offered by appointment only, at both the Kitchener and Stratford Humane Society locations. 

To participate in the Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Clinics, pet owners need to register online in advance. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, the services will be provided "curbside" — in that pets will be dropped off at the clinic and later picked up by their owners. They will not be allowed in the building with their pets for their procedures.

"COVID-19 put many people into challenging financial positions, and we want to ensure we are able to continue to help those who rely on our annual rabies vaccination and microchip clinics for their pets," veterinary director Dr. Laurel Gale said. 

"We have modified our clinic procedures substantially by switching to an appointment based system and curbside delivery of service to ensure that we can continue to protect the health of both people and pets in the community."

500-plus confirmed rabies cases in Ontario since 2015

The Humane Society is encouraging pet owners to keep their communities rabies-free by having their animals vaccinated against the disease. 

Since 2015 there have been more than 500 confirmed rabies cases in the province of Ontario, mostly in wild animals. The last reported case of rabies in a pet was in 2019 in a dog in Niagara County.

Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of mammals. 

The virus is carried in the saliva of the infected animal and can be spread to humans and to their pets through a bite, scratch, cut or contact with moist tissue of the mouth, nose and eyes.

Rabies is almost always fatal. Once a pet shows symptoms, it will usually die within seven to 10 days.

The Humane Society is also offering a microchipping service during the November clinics. Microchipping is a reliable, permanent, one-time service that helps reunite lost pets with their owners.

To participate in the Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Clinics, pet owners need to register online in advance. 

The cost is $30 for rabies vaccination, certificate, and tag; $30 for microchip and registration; or $50 for both services.

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