CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) — The Carteret County Health Department is teaming up with local veterinarians to offer discounted rabies vaccines this month.
“It’s 100% preventable with the vaccine,” said veterinary technician Sarah Lewis, “so it’s really important to get the vaccination.”
Carteret County has had four documented cases of rabies in the last year.
That’s why the health department is stepping up to make sure pet owners follow state law and get their pets vaccinated.
“It’s a quick five minute appointment.,” said Lewis. “You get the vaccine really quick and you’re out the door.”
Carteret County Humane Society Shelter Director Rachel Hardin said the discounted program is great because so many of the animals in the shelter are given up or neglected because their owners couldn’t afford to care for them.
“They understand that they can’t afford it,” said Hardin, “so they do give them up for that. Or they just don’t do it because of the fee, because it can get expensive.”
The shots are seven dollars for the entire month of May, less than half of what they normally cost.
The most recent reports from the CDC show that in 2015, just over 5500 cases of rabies were reported in the U.S. Of those cases, 92% were wild animals. Although it’s uncommon to see domestic animals contract rabies, it’s not unheard of.
Rabies can even spread from animals to humans, making it dangerous to skip the shots.
Carteret County animal control director Josie Griffin said, “we did have a case not too long ago where a little boy had it and he did actually pass away in the United States. So unfortunately it can happen if not treated properly.”
To schedule an appointment for a discounted rabies vaccine, you can contact one of the seven participating veterinarians offices listed here.