Pet Owners take advantage of thousands of free rabies vaccines - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Pet Owners take advantage of thousands of free rabies vaccines


Man's best friend is always there when you need him and Sunday it was time to return the favor.  Rabies kills millions of animals each year worldwide.  And with rabid bats here in St. Joseph County it should be a concern for you and your pet.  That's why thousands of animals were vaccinated for free Sunday in locations across the county.

"God forbid he gets bit by an animal that has rabies.  I don't want him to get sick cause I love him (kiss) I love him he's my pride and joy," said Judith Poleski of her Yorkie, Dusty.  Her love for him is why she brought him to the humane Society Sunday, to take advantage of free rabies vaccines.  "I think it's wonderful that they can do that cause a lot of people can't afford to take their animals to vets."

Judith said normally a rabies vaccine runs her about $300 so no wonder thousands lined up for the free shots.  Pet owner Heather Johnson said, Finances aren't always there and things like these are important.  I think as a pet owner a lot of times people don't think of things like this when they decide to have an animal."

And since people can't afford it, they just don't do it, according to Dr. Carol Ecker, the executive Director of the St. Joseph County Humane Society.  "These people some of them don't even go to vets."

But if you don't get your pets vaccinated that can cause the spread of diseases like rabies.  And in most cases rabies is fatal.  "It's about we have rabies in the area.  We had rabid bats.  We had a girl die in Marshall County three or four years ago.  This is serious stuff," said Dr. Ecker.

The Michiana Kennel club and other vendors donated money to make the thousands of free rabies vaccines possible.  Something pet owners are very thankful for.  "They're like our children.  We don't want them to get sick so my children get vaccines why shouldn't my pets?" said Heather.  And Judith said, it's nice that the humane society does this for animals cause they need care too." 

And when it's free care it's even better.  The humane society gave out 2,300 free rabies vaccines last year and they were expecting to give out 3,000 Sunday.

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