Cats and dogs need to get vaccinated each year against rabies, even during a pandemic.
The annual low-cost rabies clinics in Limestone County are July 8-11 at eight different locations — West Limestone High School, the former Owens Elementary School campus (now Alabama Connections Academy), East Limestone High School, Elkmont Rural Village, Piney Chapel Elementary School, Clements High School, Tanner High School and Athens Middle School (the old Athens High School).
Cost is $12 for cats and dogs.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the clinics will be drive-thru only. Residents should stay in their vehicle and drive to the table to be assisted. Residents should also wear masks and socially distance by at least 6 feet.
State law requires every dog and cat age 3 months or older to be vaccinated against rabies annually with a one-year rabies vaccine, according to Dr. Robert Pitman, veterinarian for Limestone Veterinary Clinic and the Athens-Limestone Animal Shelter.
Cash or check will be accepted; make checks payable to Dr. Robert Pitman or Limestone Veterinary Clinic.
Here is the vaccination schedule:
• Wednesday, July 8 — 7:30 a.m. West Limestone High School, 10945 W. School House Road, Lester; 9 a.m. former Owens Elementary School campus, 21465 Alabama 99, Athens; and 11 a.m. East Limestone High School, 15641 East Limestone Road, Athens;
• Thursday, July 9 — 7:45 a.m. Elkmont Rural Village and 9 a.m. Piney Chapel Elementary School, 20835 Elkton Road, Athens.;
• Friday, July 10 — 8 a.m. Clements High School, 7730 U.S. 72, Athens; and 9 a.m. Tanner High School, 12060 Sommers Road, Tanner; and
• Saturday, July 11 — 8 a.m. Athens Middle School on U.S. 31 (formerly Athens High School).
Pitman asks everyone to remain patient during vaccinations and to practice social distancing.
“We will get it all done,” he said.
Pitman said he is seeing more and more dog bites in Limestone County. He believes it’s because more people are staying home, children are outside more and dogs seem to be roaming more than usual. Pitman said he is also seeing more damage inflicted from the bites.
He said most of the bites involve children aged 4 to 14. The bites are mostly to the face, mouth, hands and arms, he said.
So far, Pitman has not seen any cases of rabies in the county. However, if a dog bites someone and is not vaccinated, they could have to be euthanized. If dogs have an annual vaccination and bite someone, they are quarantined for 10 days, Pitman said.