Sara Peters said she takes her two dogs, Josh and Phoebe, to the vet for regular treatment, but on Friday she took them down to an old fire hall to get rabies shots.
The shots were being given at the hall on Tennessee Avenue in St. Elmo, which is within walking distance of her home, she said. And they were much cheaper at the fire hall than at the vet’s office, she said.
Over the next two weekends, about 5,000 pets are expected to get low-cost rabies vaccinations at more than 40 locations around the Chattanooga area, according to the Humane Educational Society.
The society paired with the Hamilton County Veterinary Medical Association to offer $12 rabies shots, a significant savings over the vaccinations offered in a vet’s office, said Guy Bilyeu, the society’s executive director. The shots are cheaper because participants are paying only for the shot, not for an office visit or the labor associated with delivering the drug, Mr. Bilyeu said.
“A lot of people don’t have the wherewithal to go to a vet’s office,” he said. “This is an especially important service for them. It’s so cheap, and it’s the right thing to do.”
Vaccinations are being offered today and next Friday and Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. at more than 40 sites, said Tricia Sebes, who is coordinating the volunteer effort.
“It’s great to take advantage of these vaccinations, but it’s important to remember your pet needs other shots, too, and we don’t offer those here,” Ms. Sebes said.
Pets also need vaccinations for parvo, bordetella and distemper, among others, Mr. Sebes said.
Veterinary technicians from local offices administer the shots, while volunteers from the Humane Educational Society register the pets. The registration can range from $3 to $25, depending on whether the animal has been spayed or neutered.
“The shots and the registration are required by law,” Mr. Bilyeu said. “There’s a rabies scare out there still, and if your dog gets rabies, it’s fatal. If your pet has contact with another animal that has rabies, it’s a mandatory six-to-12-month quarantine.”
There have been no reported cases of rabies in Hamilton County this year, and there were none in 2007, Mr. Bilyeu said.
* Domestic animals account for less than 10 percent of the reported rabies cases.
* Cats, cattle and dogs are the domestic animals most often reported rabid.
* Rabies virus infects the central nervous system, causing brain injury and ultimately death.
* Early symptoms of rabies in humans are nonspecific, consisting of fever, headache and general discomfort. As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Low-cost rabies vaccinations will be held this weekend and next at more than 40 Chattanooga area locations. Shots are being offered today at the following locations between 4 and 6 p.m.:
Apison Elementary School, 10433 E. Brainerd Road
Bakewell Community Center, 114 McCallie Ferry Road
Chattanooga School for Liberal Arts, 6579 E. Brainerd Road
Dawn Elementary School (former White Oak), 901 Altamont Road
Dupont Elementary School, 4134 Hixson Pike
Fairyland School, 1306 Lula Lake Road
Ganns-Middle Valley Elementary, School 1609 Thrasher Pike
Old Soddy-Daisy High School site, 10848 Dayton Pike
Red Bank Middle School, 3715 Dayton Blvd.
Spring Creek Elementary School, 1100 Spring Creek Road
Tyner Middle Academy, 6837 Tyner Road
Walden’s Ridge Community Center, Fairmount Pike at Hale Street
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2008
Collegedale Municipal Building, 4910 Swinyar Drive
FRIDAY, APRIL 25
Allen Elementary School, 9811 Dallas Hollow Road
Alpine Crest School, 4700 Stag Road
Birchwood Elementary School, 5623 Highway 60
Daisy Church of God, 9555 Dayton Pike
East Ridge (City Hall), 1517 Tombras Ave.
Lookout Valley Middle/High School, 350 Lookout St.
Old Flat Top Grocery, 13814 Jones Gap Road
Summit Head Start, 4821 Pattontown Road
Westview Elementary School, 9629 East Brainerd Road
SATURDAY, APRIL 26
Brown Middle School, 5716 Highway 58
Falling Water Elementary School, 715 Roberts Mill Road
Fire Hall No. 4, 10914 Highway 58 N.
Hixson High School, 5705 Middle Valley Road
Lakeside Academy, 4850 Jersey Pike
Lakesite City Hall, 9301 Rocky Point Road
Lookout Mountain Fire Hall, 710 Scenic Highway
Ooltewah Health Center, 5520 High St.
Post Office, Sale Creek, 15117 Dayton Pike
Red Bank High School, 640 Morrison Springs
Rivermont Elementary School, 3330 Hixson Pike
Signal Mountain Playground, 809 James Blvd.
Snow Hill Elementary School, 9042 Career Lane
Warner Park Field House, 1254 East Third St.
SPECIAL CLINICS FOR CATS ONLY
THURSDAY, APRIL 24
Animal Clinic, 1414 Gunbarrel Road
Animal Clinic, 2223 E. 23rd St.
Animal Hospital of Signal Mountain, 1801 Taft Highway
Ashland Terrace Animal Hospital, 907 Ashland Terrace
Brainerd Hills Veterinary Hospital, 6724 E. Brainerd Road
Cat Clinic of Chattanooga, 310 Cherokee Blvd.
Chattanooga Veterinary Center, 6146 Lee Highway
East Brainerd Animal Hospital, 8488 E. Brainerd Road
East Ridge Animal Hospital, 3702 Ringgold Road
Highway 58 Animal Hospital, 4933 Highway 58
Lee Parkway Veterinary Clinic, 116 Lee Parkway
Middle Valley Animal Hospital, 6310 Hixson Pike
Northgate Animal Hospital, 1600 Hamill Road
Ooltewah Animal Clinic, 5617 Main St., Ooltewah
Red Bank Animal Hospital, 4416 Dayton Blvd.
Shallowford Animal Hospital, 6200 Shallowford Road
Signal Mountain Veterinary Clinic, 903 Ladder Trail
Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...