THOMASVILLE -- The veterinarians are coming to a neighborhood near you on April 2.

Three local vets, Drs. Jimmy Clanton, Danny Culbreth and Leon Young, will make stops in Meigs, Ochlocknee, Coolidge, Boston, Barwick, Pavo and Thomasville throughout the day.

They will sell and administer rabies shots for area people's pets. One animal can be vaccinated for $10; two for $9 and three or more for $8 each.

The traveling rabies clinic is an annual event.

Carol Jones, executive director of the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society, championed the clinic.

"This is an opportunity for our citizens to take advantage of a special day and special prices for complying with the law," Jones said.

Culbreth said the vaccinations for pets also benefit the public, preventing humans from the risk of getting rabies from domestic animal bites.

He said in this area, wild animals that most commonly carry rabies are raccoons.

"We see a lot more of it during the spring because of mating season," he said. However, Culbreth said foxes and bats also can transmit rabies.

According to information online from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, any mammal can get rabies.

Young estimated the three veterinarians vaccinated around 650 cats and dogs during last year's round. He hopes to give more shots this year, but said the weather will be a large factor determining the clinic's final numbers.

Cats and dogs are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies.

"By law, it has to be done every year," Young said. He said shots remain effective for one year from the date animals receive them.

Young said rabies in the wilderness has always existed here.

He said in the 1940s there used to be a few hundred rabies cases reported annually.

Since then, record keeping has changed. He said now, animals that bite people are the only ones that are tracked down for rabies testing. Young and Culbreth said the reason for this is because the costs for testing animals for rabies is very expensive for the state.

According to Thomas County Health Department records, there was one rabies case reported in 2004.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online showed more than 90 percent of all animal cases reported each year to the CDC occurred in wildlife, whereas before 1960, most cases occurred in domestic animals.

To report an animal locally that might be rabid, call Animal Control at 228-0613 or Thomas County dispatch at 226-2101.

To reach reporter Blenda Link, call 226-2400, ext. 227.

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