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April 1, 2011

For More Information, Contact

  • Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region, 540-381-7100, x151; 540-580–2960


(SALEM, Va.) – A community-wide rabies vaccination clinic will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at the Salem Civic Center from 9 a.m. until noon. All area residents are invited to bring their pet dogs and cats to be vaccinated for only five dollars ($5.00) each. Dogs and cats must be three months old or older. Dogs must be on leashes or in carriers; cats must be in carriers. Please bring correct change, cash only. Checks or credit cards cannot be accepted.

Dog owners should enter the Civic Center from Roanoke Blvd.; cat owners or owners with both cats and dogs should enter from Texas St. Owners should follow signs to designated parking and registration areas. Citizens are encouraged to pre-register their pets by using the following link by April 13: Pre- registration will save time and will make the clinic more efficient. 

“We usually see an uptick in animal rabies cases in spring, because both domestic and wild animals are more active out of doors at this time of year, so encounters between pets and wildlife are more likely,” noted Stephanie Harper, M.D., director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (Virginia Department of Health). “Rabies is found throughout Virginia. Any mammal can catch it and it’s almost always fatal. You can help prevent the spread of rabies and protect your pets and your loved ones by vaccinating your pets. And state law requires that all dogs and cats four months of age and older be vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian.”

To prevent the spread of rabies:

  • Vaccinate your pet cats, dogs and ferrets.
  • Put away pet food and dishes after your pet has finished eating.
  • Don’t feed or attract wild animals. Keep garbage containers tightly closed.
  • Avoid animals acting strangely or wild animals acting tame. Never approach or handle unfamiliar animals or strays even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or gathering places.

If a person is bitten by a wild or stray animal or a pet, wash the wound immediately and thoroughly for 10 minutes and apply antiseptic. Seek medical attention immediately.  Report the incident to animal control or the health department, and, if possible, confine the animal or try to watch it until animal control arrives. Be sure to report any altercations between animals. Contact animal control or the health department immediately if a cat, dog, or other mammal is bitten by or exposed to a potentially rabid animal.

The clinic on April 16 is sponsored by the Salem Civic Center, the Roanoke Valley Veterinary Medical Association, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, the Salem, Roanoke County, Town of Vinton, Botetourt County and Roanoke City Animal Control and Protection Units; and the Salem Animal Shelter. Salem, Roanoke, Vinton, and Roanoke County officials also will issue dog and cat tags.

If this is the animal’s first rabies vaccination, it will be valid for one year. If the animal has received a previous vaccination that is still valid, you must bring the vaccination certificate for the new vaccination to be valid for three additional years. Otherwise, the vaccination is only valid for one year.

For more information, call 540-204-9764 or visit


Last Updated: 07-30-2011

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