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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Knox County Health Department Offers Rabies Vaccinations for Area Pets
April 23, 2009 - Rabies Vaccination Clinics to be held consecutive Saturdays, May 2 and 9, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at several Knox County Schools.

Knox County Health Department and the Knoxville Veterinarian Medical Association are cosponsoring the annual Knox County community-wide Rabies Vaccination Clinics on the first two Saturdays in May — May 2 and 9 — from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at more than 30 Knox County schools. (See the accompanying flyer for a list of locations). The vaccination cost is only $10.

“Rabies is a potentially lethal disease affecting animals and humans,” said Mark Jones, Knox County Health Department director. “Fortunately, here in the U.S., we don’t see near the disease rate of some countries because there is a vast public health priority on vaccination.”

Pet owners are strongly urged to vaccinate their animals against rabies, which is caused by a virus that attacks the brain and spinal column. If untreated, death can occur within days of the onset of symptoms. The best way to prevent rabies is to make sure pets get their vaccinations and avoid contact with wild and stray animals. Even pets kept indoors can accidentally encounter wild animals such as bats. Anytime an unvaccinated animal comes in contact with a rabid animal, it can spread the disease to its human family. Vaccination against the disease is virtually 100 percent effective.

Tennessee and Knox County laws require all dogs and cats to be vaccinated, registered and tagged. For safety and ease-of-handling at the Rabies Vaccination Clinics, owners are asked to keep dogs on a leash and cats in carriers or pillowcases (a pillowcase is actually preferred because the vaccine can be administered through the cloth). Dogs and cats must be at least three months old to receive a rabies vaccination.

The Knox County Health Department is committed to promoting public health practices that safeguard and improve quality of life for all residents. The Health Department offers an array of services ranging from medical and dental care, disease control, emergency preparedness, air quality management, environmental services, food preparation oversight in public places, special programs for women with children and much more. For more information on Knox County Health Department, visit www.knoxcounty.org/health. Public input on health issues is welcome at www.healthyknox.blogspot.com/
For Immediate Release
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