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Howell Co. Health Department hosts rabies vaccination clinics


In an initiative to combat the threat of rabies, the Howell County Health Department is set to host its annual rabies vaccination clinics on May 4, offering vital services to the community at reduced costs. This year's clinics aim to broaden the initiative's reach by providing two convenient locations for pet owners in Howell County to access these essential vaccinations.

Clinic Details

The clinics will be held in two sessions on the same day, ensuring maximum accessibility for residents: From 9 to 11 a.m. a clinic will be held at Willow Springs Booster Field off of East Main Street in Willow Springs, and from 1 to 3 p.m., a session will be held in the Mtn. View View Animal Clinic parking lot at 1615 County Road 2990, Mtn. View View.

Both sessions will be led by Dr. Joe Lewis of Mtn. View View Animal Clinic, who has generously volunteered his services for the event. Contact for both locations is provided through the clinic at 417-934-2323.

The clinics will offer two types of vaccinations: arabies-only vaccine available at $12, and a comprehensive Rabies/Distemper/Parvo combo vaccine priced at $23.

No appointments are necessary.

Officials Emphasize Importance of Vaccination

Justin Frazier, the environmental services supervisor at the Howell County Health Department, stressed the importance of the clinic: "Vaccination of cats and dogs is crucial since vaccinated pets create a protective barrier between humans and rabid wild animals.” He pointed out the danger posed even to indoor pets who might inadvertently come into contact with rabid animals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that annually, 7,000 to 8,000 rabid animals are detected in the United States, with the majority being wild animals such as bats and skunks. However, domestic animals, including pets such as dogs and cats, also fall victim to the disease, making vaccinations an essential preventive measure.

The reduced-cost clinics serve as a critical preventive step in managing potential rabies exposure. Unvaccinated pets that encounter a rabid animal face stark outcomes: euthanasia or a six-month quarantine at significant expense. Conversely, vaccinated pets only require a booster shot and a brief 45-day home quarantine following exposure, highlighting the vaccine's protective benefits.

Community Prevention Tips

In addition to vaccinating pets, the Howell County Health Department recommends several measures to prevent rabies: keep pets under direct control and avoid their contact with wild animals; ensure dogs, cats and even ferrets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, with vaccines also available for horses, cattle and sheep; and report any stray pets or wild animals exhibiting unusual behavior to local animal control officials.

For more information on rabies prevention or to inquire about the upcoming clinics, residents can contact the Environmental Public Health Section at the Howell County Health Department at 417-256-7078 or the Mtn. View Animal Clinic at 417-934-2323.