Nearly 1,000 Pets Protected Through Ritchie Rabies Clinics

Patty Ritchie

October 31, 2013

6 No-Cost Events Held in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties 

Nearly 1,000 pets have been protected against rabies through State Senator Patty Ritchie’s no-cost vaccination clinics held recently in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.

The clinics—which were made possible through funding Senator Ritchie secured in the state budget in response to an alarming increase in the number of wildlife rabies cases reported in the North Country—were hosted in conjunction with St. Lawrence County Public Health and Jefferson County Public Health.

“Rabies is a deadly disease, and I’m thrilled that through my clinics, we were able to vaccinate nearly 1,000 dogs and cats that may not have otherwise been protected,” said Senator Ritchie.

“I’d like to thank those who made this clinic possible, especially St. Lawrence County Public Health and Jefferson County Public Health, as well as the veterinarians, dog control officers and other volunteers who helped play a role in safeguarding so many pets.”

In St. Lawrence County, clinics were held in Louisville, Gouverneur and Heuvelton.  In Jefferson County, clinics were held in Adams, Evans Mills and Alexandria Bay.  Locations were selected in part, because they were in communities that do not regularly host free vaccination clinics.

According to the state Health Department, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties have seen the largest number of confirmed cases of wildlife rabies in seven years and are on track to exceed that record, which was set in 2006. 

Senator Ritchie’s series of free rabies clinics is only her latest effort in the to fight the disease and protect the public’s health. 

As Chair of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Ritchie was instrumental over three years in stopping a half-million dollars in proposed funding cuts to rabies prevention programs, including an innovative North Country program run by Cornell University that uses special “baits” to inoculate potentially disease-spreading wildlife so they won’t be infected and pose a risk to the public. 

(Senator Ritchie is pictured in the above photo at Wednesday’s Alexandria Bay no-cost rabies vaccination clinic)