“The clinic is a community service project and fundraiser for the Bartow County 4-H Club, which helps fund 4-H programing and Dr. Tally’s Animal Angel Tree program, which helps fund emergency animal operations for existing clients,” Bartow County 4-H Agent Allison Perkins said in a press release.
The clinic will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at Cartersville First Baptist Church, 241 Douthit Ferry Road, Cartersville. Pet owners are asked to keep their animal on a leash inside their vehicle for safety reasons. All owners will be required to hold their animal for the veterinarian.
“Because there will be only 300 to 400 vaccinations available, the clinic will be on a first-come, first-served basis and each vaccination will cost $10, cash only. The clinic is open to all cats and dogs three months and older that are not pregnant,” Perkins said in the release. “The rabies vaccination is required by state law because it is one of the few illnesses contractible from household pets to humans. In Bartow, the vaccinations are required every year.”
Tally said he has a personal interest in helping support Bartow 4-H.
“I was in 4-H growing up, so I know it’s a good program. It helps the children, that’s one of the main reasons we do it each year is to benefit the 4-Her’s and send them to camp and we think that’s very beneficial,” Tally said. “We’ve been doing this for several years now and the response has been really good.”
He continued, “It’s mainly people that may not otherwise get out and get a chance to go to the veterinarian to get their shots.”
The rabies virus can be transmitted by saliva or brain tissue. Humans can be infected when brain tissue or saliva of a rabid animal gets in the eyes, blood, or moth through a bite or scratch.
“What we see mainly in this area for carriers [of rabies] is racoons, skunks, foxes and bats as the most high-risk species,” Tally said. “By receiving the previous vaccination in dogs and cats, it helps prevent them from getting the rabies if they are exposed.”
The release provided further information on the illness, stating, “An infected animal also may display strange behavior, such as avoiding water, foaming at the mouth or having difficulty moving. It is advised to stay away from all stray or wild animals. If bitten by a rabid animal, treatment must begin soon after to prevent infection. If left untreated, rabies is 100 percent fatal. Residents are asked to report any suspicious animal to the environmental health office of the Bartow County Health Department at 770-387-2614 or Bartow County Animal Control at 770-387-5153. If a pet is bitten by another animal suspected of carrying rabies, call the Bartow County authorities, a veterinarian or the Georgia Poison Center 24/7 at 800-282-5846.”
The Northwest Georgia Department of Public Health offers suggestions for protecting family and friends:
• Make sure pets get their rabies shots regularly.
• Keep pets in the yard, on a leash or in the home at all times.
• Do not leave garbage or pet food outside. Food left outside may attract wild or stray animals.
• Stay away from wild, sick, hurt or dead animals. Do not pick up or move sick or hurt animals. If a wild, sick or hurt animal is found, call Bartow County Animal Control.
• Do not keep wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes or wolves as pets. It is dangerous and illegal.
According to the release, “The Bartow County 4-H Club is pleased to be able to offer this valuable service to residents. The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens through ‘hands-on’ learning experiences. The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth and appreciation for the environment. 4-H is part of the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. To obtain more information about the Bartow County 4-H Club, contact Allison Perkins or Kim Payne at the UGA Cooperative Extension Service at 770-387-5142.”