DHEC’s Terri McCollister Works To Draw Attention To Rabies Prevention

Each spring, DHEC works to promote rabies clinics across South Carolina and raise awareness about rabies prevention. Terri McCollister, Rabies Prevention Program Team Lead, has been doing her part to promote rabies safety and vaccination at events across the state.

CarolinasUNITE Animal Welfare Professionals Conference

Terri was invited to speak on behalf of DHEC at the CarolinasUNITE Animal Welfare Professionals Conference, held February 28- March 4 in Myrtle Beach. CarolinasUNITE is a collaboration between the North Carolina Animal Federation and the South Carolina Animal Care and Control Association, aiming to bring together animal welfare professionals from both states for education and networking. This is her second time speaking at this conference.

Terri focused on bats and educating conference attendees on the potential rabies exposure risks involved during a bat encounter. She encouraged attendees to not release a bat after an encounter and to contact DHEC and directed them to the DHEC Bat webpage.

Partnering with the Humane Society

When Terri learned the Humane Society of the United States and Pets for Life program had partnered with Chewy, an online pet product retailer, to provide food and supplies to owner-support programs across the United States, she worked to get DHEC and South Carolina involved.

Terri worked with DHEC’s Communications Team and the SC Humane Society to promote low-cost rabies vaccination events on the agency’s social media outlets as part of DHEC’s promotion of spring and year-round low-cost clinics.

Low-cost rabies vaccine events are held in rural and underserved areas, and when people have their pets vaccinated at an event through the Chewy incentive program, they receive free goods. The Chewy program is a new approach, and Terri is very excited about the positive impacts this program can have in South Carolina.

Additionally, Terri participated in a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic event with the Columbia Humane Society on Saturday, March 12.

She assisted with directing traffic, handing out DHEC rabies fact sheets and pet questionnaires provided by the event host, and answering questions related to rabies prevention. The staff with the Columbia Humane Society provided helpful feedback to her noting that they received hundreds of calls about the event almost immediately after DHEC posted the event flyer.

The veterinary team assisting the Columbia Humane Society reported that over 180 pets were administered a rabies vaccination during the event.

Congratulations to Terri and the Rabies Prevention Program for the work they continue to do for our state!

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