ROCKINGHAM — Are your pets up to date on their shots?
If not, county officials are holding several rabies vaccination clinics early next month to help pet owners stay in compliance with state law.
North Carolina legislation requires that all dogs and cats at least four months old be vaccinated against rabies each year.
County officials say pets without current vaccination tags on their collars will be subject to impoundment by Richmond County Animal Control.
Licensed veterinarians will be at the following locations on the dates and times listed below:
• Thursday, May 4 — Ellerbe Lions Club Park from 4 to 4:30 p.m.; Cordova Fire and Rescue from 5 to 5:30 p.m.
• Friday May 5 — Hamlet Fire Department from 4:30 to 5 p.m.; Richmond County Health Department from 5:15 to 6 p.m.
All dogs should be on leashes and cats in carrying cages. Vaccinations are $8 each.
This time last year, Richmond County had two confirmed cases of rabies in one week.
The first was a raccoon that was discovered on Morningside Drive and had been “in direct contact” with two dogs at a residence there. The animal was euthanized and sent to the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health.
The second case was discovered after a woman was attacked by a fox she had tried to lure out of her Hunter’s Circle home.
She killed the fox with a metal pole and its carcass was also sent to the state lab for testing.
“Rabies kind of comes and goes,” Richmond County Health Director Tommy Jarrell told the Daily Journal last year. “Sometimes we’ll go several years without any rabies cases.”
The rabid fox made the the sixth case in the county in seven months.
Residents are advised to watch for animals whose behavior is abnormal, remind children to refrain from coming into direct contact with wild animals and contact Richmond County Animal Control if they observe an animal acting abnormally that comes into contact with a person, dog or cat.