CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local health departments are helping North Country pet owners stay up to date on their pet’s rabies vaccination.

Rabies, the deadly virus that is spread through animal saliva, has historically been seen in terrestrial animals in the North Country, including raccoons, skunks, possums and bats.

According to St. Lawrence County Public Health Nurse Kindra Cousineau, this poses life-threatening risks to household pets in the North Country if they are not vaccinated.

“Once rabies has developed in an animal or a person it’s not curable most of the time,” Cousineau warned. “And so if your pet has not been vaccinated and they have an exposure, they’re at risk for dying.”

To prevent these risks, the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department will again host its rabies vaccination clinic series, which administers vaccinations to dogs, cats and ferrets in the county free of charge.

“We want to make sure that our animals do not get sick with rabies. And so the only way you can do that is to provide them with a vaccine to protect them if they get exposed,” Cousineau added.

These clinics will be held starting in late April and continue to mid-October and will administer doses of the initial vaccine and the booster as rabies vaccinations are required for pets every three years.

A complete schedule of the clinic series is included below:

  • April 21: Town of Parishville Highway Garage, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • May 3: Town of Louisville Ray Hurburt Community Center, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • May 11: Ogdensburg Town and Country Vet Office, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • May 12: Town of Macomb Highway Barn, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • May 19: Town of Potsdam-Town Barns, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • May 25: Village of Norwood Fire Department, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • May 26: Friends for Pound Paws Shelter, Gouverneur, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • June 16: Tri-Town Winthrop Arena, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • June 16: Town of Norfolk Dominic Zappia Community Center, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • July 14: Town of Gouverneur Barn, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • August 11: Town of Fowler Barn, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • September 6: Town of Waddington, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • September 8: Town of Russell, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • September 27: Massena Department of Works Building, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • October 12: Ogdensburg Town and Country Vet Office, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • October 15: Canton Human Services Building

A clinic in Lisbon is also being scheduled but a date and time have yet to be confirmed.

No walk-ins will be permitted and registration is required. Registration for individual clinics will open one week prior to the clinic’s date.

Questions or registration confirmation can be retrieved by calling the hosting town or St. Lawrence County Public Health.