Global Rabies Prevention Initiative Starts Locally

In Rockport, Maine a global grassroots campaign is taking shape.  This year, PenBay Veterinary Associates will be teaming up with international rabies experts to celebrate World Rabies Day on September 28.

In honor of World Rabies Days, PenBay Veterinary Associates will be offering Rabies Vaccines free of charge September 24th-October 5th.  Pet owners will still need to pay for the required wellness exam performed by a veterinarian; however, there will be no charge for the vaccine itself.

“Rabies prevention starts with the pet owner. We saw this as an opportunity to highlight the rabies prevention and control efforts in our community, while teaming up with people around the world towards a common goal,” says Dr. Bjorn Lee, Veterinarian and owner of PenBay Veterinary Associates.

Founded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alliance for Rabies Control, a UK charity, the World Rabies Day initiative aims to bring together relevant partners in an effort to address rabies prevention and control.  “This is a coordinated effort to let the world know that this disease can be readily prevented through education, pet vaccination and increased human awareness as to proper wound management and administration of rabies vaccination after an exposure has occurred”, says Dr. Deborah Briggs, Executive Director for the Alliance for Rabies Control.

In the United States, the greatest achievement in rabies control and prevention occurred half-a-century ago with effective implementation of dog vaccination, licensing and stray dog control.  “We cannot let our guard down with rabies,” warns Dr. Lee.  “Rabies is ever-present in wildlife which can expose our pets and possibly our family members.”

It is estimated that every year 30,000-40,000 US residents are potentially exposed to rabies requiring human rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. An increasing number of wild animals are testing positive in Maine, increasing the risk of human expose in our area.

“Rabies prevention starts with the animal owner,” advises Dr. Lee.  “We recommend that people vaccinate dogs, cats, ferrets, and any other animal that has regular contact with humans, such as horses.”

To be a part of this movement, call your veterinarian today and determine if your pet’s rabies vaccine is up-to-date. To schedule your free vaccination, call PenBay Veterinary Associates at 207-594-8300.


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