Raccoons do it.
Bats do it.
Even sly little foxes do it.
These three creatures — along with cats, dogs and coyotes — are known to carry rabies. In fact, these very species made up the 81 cases of confirmed rabies in Alabama last year, according to Limestone County Rabies Inspector Dr. Jack Goodman.
For only $10, city and county residents can keep their dog, cat or ferret from getting the deadly disease by getting them vaccinated at one of the nine rabies clinics being offered June 3-5.
Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system, said Goodman, who owns Athens Animal Hospital. It paralyzes an animal’s throat, preventing it from drinking, he said. It is more common in the southeast part of the United States and during warmer months, he added.
“Wild animals (such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes and bats) can transmit the disease to domesticated cats, dogs, cattle, ferrets and horses,” Goodman said. “That is the reason vaccinations are so important.”
It is also the law.
Alabama law requires that every dog and cat — 3-months old and over — be vaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian annually with a one-year vaccine or every three years with a three-year vaccine, Goodman said. The state Health Department requires that the one-year vaccine be used for the rabies clinics, he said.
For more information on the clinics — which Goodman and doctors John Hammons, Robert Pitman, Donna Lauderdale and William Berry will offer — call Goodman at (256) 232-1344.
No matter where you live, you can find a rabies clinic to bring your pet. Here are the locations and times:
Thursday, June 3
• Athens High School — 8 a.m.
• East Limestone High School — 8 a.m.
• Tanner High School —8 a.m.
• Clements High School — 8 a.m.
Friday, June 4
• Piney Chapel School — 8 a.m.
• Owens Elementary School — 8 a.m.
• West Limestone High School — 8 a.m.
• Elkmont High School — 8 a.m.
Saturday, June 5
• Town and Country Animal Hospital — 8 to 10 a.m.