Free rabies vaccine distribution for pets of New Windsor and Orange County took place at the New Windsor Drive-Thru Rabies Clinic held at Kristi Babcock Memorial Park.
The rabies clinic, held on Saturday, May 14, was a collaborative effort between the Town of New Windsor Clerk’s office, the Orange County Department of Health [OCDH] office and the New Windsor Animal Control office. The first clinic was held in the fall of 2020 and with the success of the first clinic, the town decided to continue the same process.
During the course of that morning, New Windsor Town Clerk Kelly Allegra and her deputy clerks Jeanmarie Faraone and Kathy Fogarty, New Windsor Animal Control Officer Stacy Conley, Kelly McBride from the Orange County Department of Health and other veterinary staff and county personnel assisted with owner paperwork, checked residents in to the clinic and collected donations that were brought for the local animal shelter.
“We’ve got a lot of residents from New Windsor who have benefited as well as throughout the county who’ve come out for this free rabies clinic,” said Allegra. “It’s great to be of service to the community.”
Final figures from the clinic included 72 dogs, 34 cats and two ferrets vaccinated and $75 in donations for supplies. Additional supply donations such towels, toys, bleach and pet food was collected throughout the morning from residents.
“I feel very accomplished,” said Conley. “Seeing all the people that come who love their animals and they want to protect them from the rabies virus. Overall, it’s an accomplishment.”
Residents who attended were told to pre-register in advance through the town website and were required to present proof of vaccination prior to their pet receiving their vaccines.
Pets were able to receive a three-year rabies shot if proof of vaccination was presented. However, if no proof was presented, then the pet was administered a one-year shot.
Ferrets, regardless of presented proof, must be vaccinated each year by their owners. Conley shared previously that New York State requires dogs over four months to have a rabies vaccination and license.
Several walkthroughs did arrive at the site during the morning but were able to fill out paperwork and get their pets vaccinated. “It feels amazing to know that animal owners understand the concerns of rabies. The process today is really just to try to get as many free vaccines out as we possibly can,” McBride said. “It [rabies] is fatal, it is not something that you want to take lightly.”
Also in attendance were Councilwoman Eve Lincoln, Councilwoman Sylvia Santiago, Councilman Stephen Bedetti and New Windsor Town Justice George J. Meyers who assisted with the clinic operations.
The clinic concluded with a group photo and supplies ready to be donated. Each organization and group extended their thanks for their work to make this clinic possible.
Orange County residents can call the OCDH with any questions about rabies at 845-291-2331. New Windsor residents can review the town website or call the Town Clerk at (845) 563-4611 or Conley at (845) 563-4634 for more information about dog licensing, fees and other general information.