North Santa Rosa


Milton, FL – On Friday, September 26, the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County and Santa Rosa Animal Control will host the third drive through rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats in observance of World Rabies Day.  The event will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Santa Rosa Animal Control, 4451 Pine Forest Road, in Milton.


Local veterinarians from The Ark Animal Hospital and Pace Veterinary Clinic will provide the vaccine and administer injections for a $10.00 fee.  Cash and checks will be accepted.  A valid driver’s license will be required for all checks.  A certificate of vaccination and rabies tag will be provided.  No other services will be available at the clinic.  Pets should be secured on a leash or in a crate.


“Once again we are happy to partner with Animal Control and local veterinarians to provide this service to the public,” said Sandra L. Park-O’Hara, administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County.  “Our last clinic was very successful with over 300 animals vaccinated.  Vaccination not only protects the pet against rabies, it protects the family from possible exposure as well.”


Rabies is a disease that affects the brain.  The virus is carried in the saliva of infected animals and is usually transmitted to people and other animals through a bite or scratch.  In the U.S., more than 90 percent of rabies cases occur in wild animals, such as raccoons, foxes, skunks and bats, but domesticated animals can carry it as well.


An animal suffering from rabies may appear sick or lethargic, have problems swallowing, or drool or salivate excessively.  A wild animal may appear tamer than usual and try to approach people.  Some animals may have no visible symptoms at all.  Even baby animals can carry rabies.  That is why it is important to avoid contact with not only adult animals, but baby animals as well, no matter how cute they may be.  Rabies is fatal to humans and animals, but rabies in humans can be prevented if rabies vaccine is administered as soon as possible after exposure.


Treating individuals that have been exposed to rabies can be expensive, and insurance does not always cover the cost.  Those seeking post exposure treatment are usually seen first in a hospital emergency room to begin the shots, and may receive the rest of the series at the health department.  So far this year, DOH-Santa Rosa has given post exposure rabies shots to 12 people, at an approximate cost of $6,300.


The health department advises the public to take these precautions to avoid exposing themselves or their pets to rabies:


  • Avoid all contact with wild and unfamiliar domesticated animals, both adult and young.  Never attempt to pick up or pet a wild or unfamiliar animal.
  • Do not place feeders in the yard – food will attract unwanted animals such as raccoons and foxes.
  • Do not leave pets outside unsupervised.
  • Bring in pet food at night and secure trash cans with fasteners.
  • Cover bird feeders.  Most squirrel-proof coverings also deter wild animals.
  • Children should never chase or attempt to catch or touch a wild or unfamiliar animal, and should tell an adult if a wild or strange animal tries to approach them.
  • Vaccinate pets against rabies and keep their vaccinations up to date.  Follow your veterinarian’s recommendation for revaccination.


If bitten or scratched by a wild animal, or stray domesticated animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water.  This is the first line of defense against rabies!  Seek medical attention immediately and report the incident to Santa Rosa Animal Control at 983-4680, or the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County at 983-5200.


For more information about rabies and rabies vaccination, visit the Centers for Disease Control website at

Posted by on Sep 24 2014. Filed under Events, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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