By MELINDA WILLIAMS
In an effort to help combat an outbreak of several deadly cat and dog diseases, two low-cost vaccination clinics will be held at Dublin Animal Shelter during March.
Candice Simmons, executive director of Pulaski County Humane Society, said Southwest Virginia has been experiencing an outbreak of parvovirus and canine distemper in dogs; panleukopenia in cats, and rabies in both.
“All of these diseases are highly contagious. Canine distemper and rabies can be transferred from wild animals,” said Simmons. “The mortality rate among pets with any of these diseases is through the roof. But these diseases can be prevented through vaccinations.”
The clinics, called Rocky’s Clinic, are made possible through a grant from Community Foundation of the New River Valley. They will be held Saturdays, March 8, and March 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Pulaski County Animal Shelter, 80 Dublin Park Road in Dublin. The shelter is just past Dublin’s post office and police station.
Rabies, canine and feline distemper vaccines will be $5 each. Advance appointments are required. Call 674-0089 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simmons said appointments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Pet owners are asked to keep pets inside their vehicles until a humane society volunteer escorts them into the clinic.
Pulaski County Animal Control officers will also be on hand to issue dog tags.
Simmons reminds pet owners they still need to take their dogs and cats to a veterinarian for annual check-ups. “Vaccinating is the best way to protect your pets from diseases, but proper vetting does not stop with vaccinations,” she said.
This is the fourth time the local humane society has held Rocky’s clinics. It’s first clinic was held in 2009 after a dog named Rocky contracted parvovirus. Fortunately, Rocky lived. However, Simmons said the organization wants to keep cases like Rocky’s at bay.