Wednesday is World Rabies Day, and Pasco County Animal Services is teaming up with Gentle Care Pet Hospital to provide one-year rabies vaccinations for low-income families.
The first 150 low-income pet owners who qualify at events held Wednesday and Thursday will receive the vaccination for their dog or cat. The first clinic is at the county shelter, 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes, while a second clinic will run Sept. 27 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Gentle Care Pet Hospital, 21515 Village Lakes Shopping Center Drive, in Land O’ Lakes.
To qualify for the free vaccine, pet owners must bring a valid photo identification and one of the following: a Medicaid card, food stamps card, WIC identification card, proof of supplemental security income, or proof of unemployment.
The event does not include a free county license, and a license is required for all dogs in Pasco County. License fees are $10 for dogs that have been spayed or neutered, and $35 for those that have not. Licenses will be available for purchase at the event.
Organizers are asking that all cats be transported in carriers, while dogs need to be on a 6-foot leash, or in a carrier.
Rabies is ever-present in wildlife, which can put pets and people at risk, shelters officials said. It is estimated at nearly 40,000 Americans are exposed to rabies each year. Officials recommend people vaccinate all animals that have regular contact with humans.
Founded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, the World Rabies Day initiative aims to address rabies prevention and control, according to a release.
For more information about World Rabies Day, visit WorldRabiesDay.org. For information about the free rabies vaccination clinics, call Joya Coen with Gentle Care Pet Hospital at (813) 949-4416, or email her at .