Humane Society Offers Free Rabies Vaccinations for Indian River County Pets

Rabies vaccine in Vero Beach.
Rabies vaccine in Vero Beach.

VERO BEACH, Florida – In response to a recent rabies alert issued by the Indian River County Health Department, the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County (HSVB) will be holding a free rabies vaccination clinic for Indian River County residents on Thursday, May 31, from 6-8 p.m.

The free vaccination clinic will be held at Southside Veterinary Hospital, located at 935 36th Ct., SW (on the south side of Oslo Road). This free rabies clinic is for dogs and cats four months of age and older. Vaccinations will be given on a first come, first serve basis.

To participate, pet owners must:

  • Bring proof of Indian River County residency
  • Bring dogs on leashes
  • Bring cats in carriers
  • Only bring dogs and cats four months of age and older

The Humane Society’s free rabies vaccination clinic is a proactive measure being taken to protect human and animal health after a cat recently tested positive for rabies following an unprovoked attack on a county resident.

“Protecting our community’s pets is currently our greatest concern, so we want to make it as easy as possible for pet owners to get their pets vaccinated – especially those residents living in the Rabies Alert Area,” explained Maria Ramirez, the shelter’s director of operations.

According to the Health Department, the Rabies Alert Area’s boundaries are US 1 to the east, Route 60/20th Street to the north, 66th Avenue to the west and Oslo Road to the South.

Ramirez reminds residents that animals can travel across Rabies Alert Area borders which is why it’s important for all dogs and cats over the age of four months to receive a rabies vaccination. Dogs and puppies should be kept on a leash when outside and closely monitored at all times to reduce the likelihood of any interaction with potentially rabid wildlife. Cats should be kept indoors to also prevent them from having contact with wildlife. This is especially important for kittens under the age of four months, since they cannot be vaccinated.

County residents are advised to not leave food out for stray animals since this can attract wildlife and cause dangerous interactions between humans, pets and wild animals.

For more information please call the Humane Society at (772) 388-3331 or visit the shelter’s website www.hsvb.org. This free vaccination clinic is being held in cooperation with the Indian River County Health Department and the Vero Beach Police Department with assistance from veterinarian David Kilpatrick.

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About Jennifer Balakrishnan
Jennifer Balakrishnan lives in Vero Beach, Florida. She moved to Indian River County when she was 6-years-old. Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree at Florida State University. She writes our crime stories and is one of our food/restaurant critics.