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Rabies clinic vaccinates pets

A rabies clinic at the Lunenburg Animal Hospital vaccinated more than 150 dogs and cats this past Saturday, March 7.

Lunenburg Animal Control Officer Ray Elliott said 134 dogs and 17 cats received rabies vaccinations. More than 59,000 people die from rabies each year. More than 99% of rabies cases in humans come from dog bites, according to information from the World Health Organization.

In addition to the rabies vaccinations, microchips were implanted in 40 animals. The small chips placed just below the skin of the neck between the shoulder blades helps Elliott and other animal control officers return lost pets to their owners. The microchips contain ownership information for the cat or dog. When the animal is located by animal control, the chip can be scanned and the information from the scan can be used to reunite the pets with their owners.

“We scan every dog so we can try to find out who it belongs to,” Elliott said. “This is a sure way to find out who owns the dogs and we can find out who had the dog chipped.”

A recent study from Microchip ID Systems showed that lost dogs without microchips were returned to their owners at a rate of 22%. Microchipped dogs who get lost are returned to their owners 52% of the time.

Elliott said he especially wanted to thank Kirby Burch with the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance. The group helped get the microchip program going. He also thanked the staff of Lunenburg Animal Hospital for helping out with the clinic.