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Animal Control Initiative; Free Rabies Clinic

Happenings in North Hempstead.

With the coping with an increasing number of stray dogs, the town has acquired a new vehicle to transport more animals per trip than before.

At the same time, the town’s animal shelter is stepping up its campaign to encourage owners to license their dogs.

“With overpopulation of stray and free-roaming animals reaching crisis proportions across the country, we are trying to do the best we can to help deal with the problem before it gets out of hand in our community,”  Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman said, in a statement.

According to the American Humane Society, the population of stray animals is growing because of irresponsible breeding, pet abandonment, and failure to spay and neuter animals.

North Hempstead’s new animal control vehicle, a 2013 Chevrolet Explorer van, features separate compartments so as many as six animals can be transported at the same time – twice as many as the previous vehicle.

“We are busier than ever,” said Andrew DeMartin, the town’s commissioner of public safety.

DeMartin noted that while animal control officers are in the field, they are also trying to get the word out about the importance of pet owners licensing their animals, which helps lost pets reunite with their owners.

Owners whose pets are wearing a tag indicating the animal is licensed are given a free supply of doggie bone treats and a pet collar. Owners without a license are urged to get one. For more information, call 311.

Free Rabies Clinic for Dogs And Cats

North Hempstead is partnering with the Nassau County Board of Health in offering a free rabies clinic for dogs and cats on Sept. 12, from 5-7 p.m. clinic will be held at the “Yes We Can” Community Center at 141 Garden Street in Westbury.

Attendees must keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers.

According to the town, rabies, an acute viral disease of the nervous system, is transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal. However, the virus may also be transmitted when the saliva of a rabid animal comes into contact with a cut or scratched skin lesions. 

New York State law requires all dogs, cats and domesticated ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies. If an unvaccinated pet or one that is overdue on its vaccination comes in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, the pet must either be destroyed or strictly quarantined for six months. However, if a vaccinated animal comes into contact with a wild animal, it needs only a booster vaccination, but this immunization must be administered within five days of exposure.

That's why the town is sending to residents this message: if you care for your family and your pet, it is absolutely essential that your animals have up-to-date rabies vaccinations. 

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