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Suffolk County Offers Free Rabies Vaccination Clinic For Dogs, Cats And Ferrets


Suffolk County Offers Free Rabies Vaccination Clinic

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services and the Town of Islip will offer free rabies vaccinations for dogs, cats and ferrets on Saturday, September 28, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brookwood Hall located at 50 Irish Lane in East Islip, NY. Although the clinic is available to all county residents, the quantity of vaccine is limited and available only while supplies last. All dogs must be on leashes and all cats and ferrets must be in carriers

Rabies, a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system, is most often seen among wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes, but any mammal can be infected with rabies. Pets and livestock can get rabies if they are not vaccinated to protect them against infection.

New York State and Suffolk County laws require that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. Vaccinating pets not only provides protection for the animals but also acts as a barrier to keep the rabies virus from spreading between wild animals and people.

Although no raccoons have tested positive for the rabies virus in Suffolk County since 2009, three to six percent of the bats that are tested annually are positive for rabies.    

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services recommends the following precautions to protect your pets and your family from possible exposure to rabies:

To keep bats from getting into buildings:


  • Not leaving unscreened doors open to the outside
  • Not leaving unscreened windows open to the outside
  • Making sure windows have screens, chimneys are capped, and electrical and plumbing openings are plugged
  • Sealing all openings larger than 1/2 inch
  • Using materials such as expanding spray-on foam, caulk, wire mesh, wood that fits tightly, steel wool (around pipes that enter buildings), or polypropylene bird netting, to seal or cover gaps and holes 

Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services at (631) 853-0333 weekdays, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Animal bites or contact with wild animals can be reported to the Department at (631) 852-4820 outside normal business hours. If possible, try to contain the animal so that it can be tested.

For more information on rabies, visit the New York State Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

For more information about this rabies vaccination clinic, call the Islip Animal Shelter at (631) 224-5660.

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