September Low-cost Rabies Clinics Scheduled Across Garrett County

The Garrett County Health Department announces the final series of low-cost rabies clinics for 2023. The vaccination of dogs, cats, and ferrets will begin Monday, September 11, and conclude Thursday, September 14. Area residents are encouraged to check the following schedule for the exact time and location of the clinic in their area.

The clinics are as follows:

  • Deer Park Fire Department, Monday, September 11, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  • Grantsville Elementary School, Tuesday, September 12, 5:00 – 6:00 PM
  • Garrett County Fairgrounds Ag Heritage Hall, McHenry, Wednesday, September 13, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  • Garrett County Health Department, Oakland, Thursday, September 14, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

The cost of the vaccination is $5 per animal at the clinics. Dogs must be on a leash and under the control of a responsible individual. Cats and ferrets must be brought to the clinic in a cage or a tightly secured box with air holes. If a cage or carrier is not available, the cat must be carried in a pillowcase or a suitable cloth sack. Close contact with animals at the clinics increases the risk of bites or scratches. Please be prepared to restrain and control your animals to avoid a potential incident.

Last year, Garrett County experienced two confirmed rabies cases. So far this year, Garrett County has had one laboratory-confirmed rabies case.

As stated by the CDC, rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals that is transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and leading to death. Rabies in both humans and pets is preventable by following proper procedures and guidelines.

Wounds from animal bites require careful attention. If you are bitten by a suspicious animal, wild or tame, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and get medical attention immediately. If possible, capture the animal so it can be observed or sent to a laboratory for rabies testing. Then contact your doctor and county health department right away.

If your pet has been in a fight with a wild animal, special precautions are necessary. Wear gloves to handle your pet and isolate it from other animals and people. Contact the Garrett County Health Department for more information on what to do. If the incident occurs outside of work hours, please contact 301-334-1930. You may be instructed to bring your pet to your local veterinarian for a rabies booster shot if it is currently vaccinated.

Unvaccinated dogs and cats exposed to rabid animals face the possibility of being euthanized to protect their owners and the general public. The grief from losing a family pet can be avoided by keeping vaccinations current.

To protect your pets and family, keep your pets’ rabies vaccinations up to date. Although Maryland law requires dogs, cats, and ferrets over four months of age to be vaccinated against rabies, they may be adequately vaccinated at three months of age. Dogs and cats need to be revaccinated every three years. Puppies and kittens, vaccinated between the ages of three and twelve months, and dogs and cats receiving their first vaccination, must be revaccinated 12 months later. Ferrets need to be revaccinated every year.

Failure to vaccinate pets against rabies in Maryland is a violation of the Annotated Code of MD Health General Article 18, Section 318 and may be punishable by a fine of up to $500 per animal. For more information about rabies or these clinics, call Environmental Health at 301-334-7760.