Protecting pets and humans from the threat of rabies

By Cassandra Harris

Cat and Dog

Did a new puppy, kitten, or ferret join your family this year? Do you have an old furry and loyal family friend? Join us this spring as we help protect pets and their humans from rabies​.

Starting this month, participating veterinarians across the state will be conducting DHEC-sponsored rabies clinics in an effort to provide vaccines for dogs, cats, and ferrets. At no more than $10 per vaccine, these clinics provide easy access to affordable and conveniently located vaccinations.

Found in every county in South Carolina, rabies is fatal once the virus reaches the brain. In 2014, South Carolina saw 139 laboratory confirmed cases of rabies in animals throughout the state, including 70 raccoons, 33 skunks, and 9 foxes. Wild animals carry the disease most often but domestic pets can contract rabies as well.

Unvaccinated pets that are exposed to the rabies virus must be quarantined or euthanized. With this in mind, it is important to remember that the heartache of losing a pet to this disease can be avoided through vaccination.

With the help of our partners, approximately 11,300 pets were vaccinated at our DHEC-sponsored rabies clinics last year. While we have no way of knowing how many actual cases of rabies there are in South Carolina’s wild animal population, the best thing a pet owner can do is to vaccinate their pet against the virus and keep their pet’s vaccinations up to date.

DHEC-sponsored rabies clinics are now underway. Protect yourself; protect your pet; vaccinate your pet today. To find a clinic near you, click here. For additional information on rabies, please visit

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