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Around the Town: October 2, 2009

Pet Adoption Fair and Rabies Vaccination Program

For many, our pets are valued members of our families and we want to protect them. These are two reasons why the Town of Hempstead offers rabies inoculations at its annual Adopt-A-Pet and Rabies Shot Program. The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 10 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Rabies vaccinations are extremely important. Rabid animals can transmit rabies to other animals and to people. It is vitally important that we help to protect the health and safety of all our residents by vaccinating pets. In Nassau County it is mandatory for dogs to be inoculated against rabies and it is strongly suggested that cats be protected as well.

At the Rabies Vaccination Program, the Town of Hempstead has partnered with the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association to vaccinate healthy dogs and cats for a nominal $10 fee (cash only). The Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter and the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association share the proceeds from this event. By supporting these important animal advocates you will be helping to ensure healthy pets.

This vaccination program has always been extremely successful. Last year alone, 285 Town of Hempstead pets were vaccinated. There is a limit of three pets per household and pregnant pets cannot be vaccinated. For the safety of all participants we ask that cats be brought in carriers and that dogs be leashed.

It is important for pet owners to be aware that a rabies vaccination is just the beginning of proper pet health care. A yearly visit to the veterinarian for a complete physical examination can go a long way toward ensuring the continued health of your pet.

Licensing your pet is a good idea. For dogs, licensing is the law. In order to have your pet vaccinated at the rabies program, you must bring the current license. Otherwise, the purchase of a new license will be required. Representatives from the Town Clerk’s Office will be on hand to issue new licenses. The cost of a license for a non-neutered male or non-spayed female dog is $10.50. The cost of a license for a neutered male or spayed female is $2.50. Only residents of the unincorporated areas within the Town of Hempstead may obtain licenses at the rabies program. If you have any questions about licensing your dog, you can contact the Hempstead Town Clerk’s Office at 489-5000 ext. 3033.

In addition to vaccinations, the event will feature many shelter animals in need of a good home, and an important goal of the Oct. 10 program is to match loving animals with caring owners. All adoption fees will be waived for the day. In addition, each pet adopted will be spayed or neutered and microchippied free of charge before leaving the shelter.

Pets that already have a loving home can be microchipped at the fair for a modest $25 fee (cash only). No pre-registration is necessary. Pet microchips, as small as a grain of rice, contain a unique registration identification number associated with your pet. If your “chipped” dog or cat ever gets loose and is brought to any shelter nationwide, your pet can be scanned for your contact information, helping to quickly reunite you with your furry friend.

This year’s activities will also include a tag sale to benefit the animal shelter’s Tails of Hope Program. This program helps defray the cost of any special medical needs of the homeless dogs and cats that find refuge at the Hempstead Animal Shelter.

The Pet Adoption Fair and Rabies Vaccination Program is being held on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, 3320 Beltagh Avenue, Wantagh. An appointment is required, so please call the animal shelter at 785-5220 to pre-register your pet.

Why not take advantage of this opportunity to adopt a loving pet or inoculate your cat or dog against rabies?