Humane Society offers $10 rabies shots

COLUMBIA – Each spring, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) encourages pet owners to take their pets to a veterinarian for routine care and vaccinations. To help make rabies vaccines easily accessible, DHEC is rallying behind several veterinary partners in support of the free or low-cost rabies vaccination clinics they’re holding in March and April.

Right now, the only DHEC-partner facility in the Midlands offering low-cost rabies shots for pets is the Humane Society, located at 405 Greenlawn Dr., in Columbia. The shots cost $10. The facility offers shots for $10 between 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Monday – Thursday.

While local veterinarians offer rabies vaccines year-round, DHEC-supported low-cost rabies clinics help raise awareness about rabies prevention. Rabies is an active, deadly virus in wildlife, and it can be fatal to people if it’s left untreated. Severe illness from rabies in humans is preventable through post-exposure rabies treatment.

“Keeping your pets and livestock current on their rabies vaccination is a responsibility that comes with owning an animal. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can protect yourself, your family, pets, and livestock from this fatal disease,” said Terri McCollister, DHEC’s Rabies Program Team Leader. “Public health and safety are our primary focus, and that is why we’re dedicated to teaming up with veterinary partners to bring rabies awareness to our communities.”

In 2021, there were 101 positive cases of rabies confirmed in animals in South Carolina, including 30 raccoons, 24 skunks, 21 bats, 14 foxes, 7 cats, 3 dogs, one otter, and one cow. South Carolina averages approximately 148 confirmed rabid animals each year.

While the number of rabies-related human deaths has declined significantly over the past several decades because of rabies vaccinations and awareness, human fatalities do still occur.

South Carolina law requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies and revaccinated at a frequency that provides continuous protection from rabies using a vaccine approved by DHEC and licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While state law doesn’t require livestock to be vaccinated, they are susceptible to rabies, and it’s strongly recommended they receive their vaccines. Cattle and horses are the most frequently reported rabies-infected livestock; however, goats, swine, and any livestock that have frequent contact with humans or are considered valuable should also be vaccinated.

If you operate a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic and would like to be linked on this page, please email [email protected]

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