Sep. 4—HERMITAGE — Although known for its spaying and neutering services, Tails of Hope Inc. will host a low-cost rabies clinic later this month in honor of World Rabies Day.
The clinic will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at Tails of Hope, 2450 Hoezle Road, Hermitage. Rabies vaccines for cats and dogs will be offered at only $10, but appointments must be scheduled ahead of time, according to a press release.
To make an appointment, call Tails of Hope at 724-346-4673.
There are roughly 30 spots available, although pet owners with more than one pet can schedule multiple animals per each appointment, Tails of Hope Executive Director Soraya Hejazi said.
The rabies vaccine clinic will precede the World Health Organization's 17th annual World Rabies Day on Sept. 28.
The day was established by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, with a theme this year of "Rabies: All For 1, One Health For All."
The theme highlights the need for collaboration, the importance of equality, and strengthening overall health systems by ensuring that One Health is not for a select few but is rather something that should be available to everyone, the release states.
According to the Pan American Health Organization, rabies is endemic on several continents, and it is estimated that about 60,000 people die from rabies annually — 40 percent of whom are children.
Rabies can be passed from animals to humans and vice versa, with dogs causing 98 percent of human rabies worldwide.
"If you let your animals outside, you run the risk of running into an animal that hasn't been vaccinated, like another pet or a wild animal," Hejazi said.
Hejazi said Tails of Hope officials organized their first World Rabies Day vaccine clinic last year, and vaccinated 36 animals.
"We do have room for more, so we're hoping to surpass that this year," Hejazi said.
Aside from their regular spaying and neutering services, Tails of Hope Inc. offers some other vaccine clinics each month — mostly focused on booster shots for vaccines given when an animal undergoes surgery.
"If we start the vaccination series, then we will complete the series' boosters," Hejazi said.
This includes a free distemper vaccine for cats and dogs, which is made possible by grants awarded to Tails of Hope and other clinics by the Petco Love foundation.
Petco Love's program aims to provide 2 million pet distemper vaccines, which can prevent three diseases in cats and four diseases in dogs. All of those diseases are highly contagious and fatal, Hejazi said.
However, Hejazi said Tails of Hope Inc. remains a focus on its work as a spay and neuter clinic, and that pet owners should establish relationships with full-service veterinary clinics early on to meet their pets' needs.
A survey of Petco Love vaccine recipients at Tails of Hope showed that an average of 40 percent of pets had never seen a vet prior to their visit at Tails of Hope, and an average of 50 percent of pets had never received a vaccine before their visit.
"You should at least have annual visits for wellness exams and vaccines, and having that regular relationship with a vet can be helpful in case you have an emergency or something happens with your pet," Hejazi said.
Located in the Thomas M. O'Brien Animal Care Center, Tails of Hope Inc. is the county's only nonprofit spay and neuter clinic, which offers the procedures at low- to no-cost for qualified clients.
By the end of August, clinic staff had spayed and neutered 1,298 so far this year, and 13,683 animals since the clinic opened in 2017, Hejazi said.
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