Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
Over the next two months, several different low-cost pet vaccine clinics will be held to help owners stay current on their cats' and dogs' shot records.
Vaccines are required by state law, and many of the 100-plus animals she picks up each month are lacking necessary shots, said City of Jacksonville animal control officer Susan Clements.
“It's state code (enacted in 1981),” she said. “It may be a three-year vaccine, but the state says that your dog, your cat must be vaccinated every year, and that falls under city ordinance, too.”
Low-cost vaccine clinics help cut down on the threat for rabies, Clements said.
“You never know (what happens when) your dog is outside, unless you find a dead skunk or a bat bite on them, so it's just better to protect your pet by vaccinating them,” she said. “It's (as much) for the protection of humans as animals.”
Several opportunities are available for pet owners in upcoming months:
A visiting veterinarian from the Metroplex area offers a monthly clinic at Tractor Supply Co., an employee from the 1626 S. Jackson St. store said.
This month's clinic is slated from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday and will include opportunities for heartworm testing, preventative plus flea control and microchipping.
The clinics are held every final Saturday of the month through July.
An annual County Critter Carnival held from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. May 4 at Nichols Green Park will include a low-cost vaccine clinic operated by the Richard D. Klein Animal Shelter.
According to shelter executive director Angela Wallace, cost is $15 per vaccine or $50 for a full protection package with needed annual vaccines for dogs and cats.
Pets also may be microchipped at an additional cost of $12, which includes a lifetime national registration, Wallace said.
For more information about the carnival, contact the shelter at 903-586-7336.
Additional opportunities for low-cost pet vaccinations will be held in early May, when area veterinarians offer shot clinics throughout the county, said Dr. Ira Stephens, a Jacksonville animal doctor.
While the 2013 dates have yet to be announced, “we pick out the places we want to go and set up in most of those communities, kind of a traveling road show,” he laughed.
Each vet will offer the necessary annual shots for cats and dogs, at a discounted rate.
“We've been doing this since 1981, though (similar projects have) been going on (in Cherokee County) since 1953,” Stephens said. “We kind of feel that public health is part of our responsibility, so we try to what we can to prevent disease, and we get a good turn-out.”
To learn more about the veterinarians' May clinics, contact the Animal Medical Center at 903-586-6541.