County urges public to have dogs and cats vaccinated; low-cost rabies shots offered at 3 County animal shelters
November 5, 2010 (Jamul) -- Rabies has been confirmed in a sick, adult grey fox which was found in a remote area of Jamul, officials announced today, adding that pet owners should ensure their animals’ rabies vaccinations are up-to-date.
There was no known human or domestic animal exposure to the sick fox. The last fox diagnosed with rabies was found in the Campo area in June 2000. In that case, three domestic dogs were exposed.
“Vaccinating pets is the primary way to prevent the rabies virus from infecting people and other animals,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., County Deputy Public Health Officer. “We also want to remind people never to approach animals they don’t know, particularly wild or stray animals. In San Diego County, bats create our greatest concern when it comes to rabies.”
Rabies is a fatal disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. The rabies virus is carried in the saliva of infected animals and is most often transmitted through the bite of an infected animal.
State law requires rabies vaccination and licensing of all dogs. The County Veterinarian also recommends that all cats be vaccinated for rabies.
The County Department of Animal Services offers a rabies vaccination clinic every Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the three County shelters located at 5480 Gaines St. in San Diego, 2481 Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad, and 5821 Sweetwater Road in Bonita. A rabies vaccination clinic is also being held from 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 14 at the Carlsbad shelter.
The cost for the shot is $6 and cats must be confined to a carrier. Additionally, residents can contact their pet’s regular veterinarian for rabies vaccinations.
The public should also contact their local animal control agency to pick up dead and dying wildlife in their neighborhoods to avoid exposure to rabies and other injuries.
For more information on rabies vaccination clinics, you may visit the County Department of Animal Services web site at www.sddac.com.