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Prevent Rabies by Keeping Pets’ Vaccinations Updated

By Carol Pezzula for the Humane Society of Rome

It is important to not only get your pets vaccinated for rabies, but to make sure you keep them up to date.

Following the vaccination requirements for pets helps prevent and control rabies. Rabies is a preventable fatal disease transmitted from animals to humans, caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system, causing convulsions, paralysis and finally death.  Rabies can develop if a person is bitten by an infected animal, or if saliva from an infected animal gets into an open wound or through a mucous membrane, such as the eyes or mouth. 

All warm-blooded animals can be affected by the virus, but it is most often found in wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats.  Dogs and cats may also contract rabies if they are not vaccinated against it. Rabies can be prevented if early treatment is administered.  If in contact with an animal with possible rabies, you must contact the health department or a medical facility for advice on rabies prevention treatment. 

World Rabies Awareness Day is celebrated annually on Sept. 28, to raise awareness about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in defeating this horrifying disease. The event, put on by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), seeks to educate the public about how rabies can be eradicated in people and domestic animals if we take the appropriate steps. 

The GARC picks a theme for World Rabies Awareness Day. This years theme is “End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate.” Sept. 28 also marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s death, the French chemist and microbiologist who developed the first rabies vaccine.

All the animals at the Humane Society of Rome are up to date on their required shots including the rabies vaccine and microchipped before they are adopted. Now they are just waiting to meet their new families and go to their forever homes. Come by the shelter on Lamphear Road to meet your new best friend!

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