The Town Clerk's Office is sponsoring a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic to be held in the auditorium at Town Hall Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. All dogs must be on leashes and all cats must be in carriers. The rear entrance of the Town Hall will be open for owners and their companion animals.

Town Clerk Claudia Weber is encouraging pet owners to take advantage of the reduced rates.

"Everyone is welcome and the fee is only $20 per vaccination for each pet, cash only," Weber said. "The clinic is open to all pet owners, not just New Canaan residents."

Because rabies is fatal and is transmittable to humans, it is a public health threat. It's important to vaccinate your pets against this virus not only for the protection of the pet but also for the owner. Protecting your pets helps to maintain a safe barrier between the human population and possible rabid wildlife.

"Even indoor only pets are at risk," Weber said. "So often, we hear of people who have had bats get into their homes through chimneys or cracks in windows. This is a huge risk to an unvaccinated pet who might then have to be quarantined at an enormous cost, or worse yet, be put to death just because of the uncertainty. This kind of situation is so preventable by making sure that both your dogs and cats are current and up-to-date on their vaccines at all times."

All pet owners must present written proof of a prior rabies vaccination or a current dog license showing a prior rabies vaccination at the Clinic to qualify for a three-year vaccination. Otherwise, a one-year vaccination will be given. Rabies tags are not sufficient proof to obtain a three-year vaccination.

State law requires that all dogs and cats over the age of three months must be vaccinated against rabies. State law also requires that all pets vaccinated for the first time in 2010 be inoculated again in 2011. Owners should check their pet's vaccination certificate for the expiration date before the clinic.

For the first time at the New Canaan's low-cost clinic, a limited supply of the PUREVAX Feline Rabies Vaccine for cats will be available. In the past, the three-year vaccination was suspected to be linked to cancer at the injection site for many cats across the country, and a safer vaccine was developed. The PUREVAX vaccine is, however, a one-year only vaccine.

The Rabies Vaccination Clinic has been organized by Weber with the help of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Marlene Schaefler from the New Canaan Veterinary Hospital will administer vaccines, and volunteers from the local pet rescue and placement agency, Strays & Others and New Canaan Animal Control will also be on hand to assist.

More Information

Fact box

For more information, call the Town Clerk's Office at 203-594-3070.