Pet vaccination event held at MDC Kendall amid rabies alert

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida agency is helping pet owners to take protective action after two raccoons test positive for rabies in Kendall.

Miami-Dade County Animal services hosted a pet vaccination event at Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus, Thursday, in response to the rabies alert.

“Miami-Dade Animal Services encourages the community to keep their animals fully vaccinated to make sure that their animals are coming in, that they’re spayed and neutered, and we also offer microchips as well,” said Animal Services spokesperson Ruben Arce.

While people can simply steer clear of raccoons and the rabies zone in Kendall, pets who like to roam about are not aware of the danger. “I don’t want my dog out of the house, really, and I just wanted to make sure that she is protected, so I got her a shot,” said pet owner Juliana Norona.

Dozens turned out to get their dogs and cats rabies shots. “Great service, great service for the price that they’re charging, $15 for a vaccine, you cannot go wrong,” said pet owner Hector Polit.

Rabies is transmitted from the bite of an animal. When left untreated, it is always fatal.

After raccoons sick from the deadly virus were found in the Kendall area, health officials issued an alert to notify residents.

The area affected extends south of Southwest 72nd Street, north of Southwest 128th Street, west of Southwest 87th Avenue and to the east of Florida’s Turnpike.

Among those who took their pets to Thursday’s event was Jorge Garcia. “My mother is worried about the whole rabies thing,” he said, “so we are trying to get [our dog] vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent anything from happening to him.”

The pet owners who turned out now have peace of mind that their four-legged family members are safe. Dog and cat owners who couldn’t make it to the event can take their pets to receive the same treatment seven days a week at the Miami-Dade County Animal Services office in Doral.

“It’s very, very important to keep your animals spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, to prevent the spread of infectious disease,” said Arce.

For more information about rabies and how to keep your family and pets safe, click here.

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