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Suffolk to hold free rabies vaccination clinic in Islip next weekend

To help protect dogs, cats and ferrets from getting infected with the rabies virus, the Suffolk County health department and the Town of Islip are holding a free rabies vaccination clinic later this month, health officials said Friday.

The clinic runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Islip Town Hall West, 401 Main St., Islip, with vaccine available on a first-come, first-serve basis, as supplies are limited, according to a health department news release.

Dogs must arrive on leashes and cats and ferrets in carriers, health officials said.

Rabies is a deadly but preventable disease affecting humans and animals, one that’s most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal, according to Centers for Disease Control and Infection. The virus “infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death,” the CDC said.

Most often seen in wild animals, such as skunks, bats, raccoons and foxes, the virus can also infect companion animals and livestock that have not been vaccinated.

State and county laws require that cats, dogs and ferrets be vaccinated to protect them and to keep the virus from spreading to people, health officials said.

For more information on the clinic, call the Islip Animal Shelter at (631) 224-5660.

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