Rabies scare prompts Fairbanks vaccination clinic

The Associated PressMay 10, 2013 

— The recent discovery of two rabid wolves has prompted Fairbanks North Star Borough animal control officials to offer nightly rabies vaccines next week at the shelter.

The $5 vaccines will be available 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The shelter has received calls from pet owners asking if they should be concerned since the discovery of rabid wolves killed by trappers in the Chandalar Lake area about 185 miles north of Fairbanks, animal control manager Sandy Besser said.

"We want to do whatever we can do to encourage people to get their animals vaccinated, especially with the number of people who let their animals run loose," Besser said. "You can't control what happens when a loose dog has an encounter with wildlife or comes upon a carcass in the woods."

It's the first time the disease has been detected in interior wild animals.

Besser said next week's clinic is a way to address community concerns and encourage people to get their pets vaccinated. State law requires pet vaccinations.

"Prevention is the only thing you can do," Besser said. "Once (rabies) is contracted, it's not curable. Having animals immunized is the best thing all the way around."

The trapper who killed one of the wolves fed the carcass to his sled dogs before heading back to Fairbanks. The dogs were current on their rabies vaccinations but were given booster shots and quarantined.

The vaccines are scheduled for evenings and for a week to accommodate as many people as possible, Besser said.

 

Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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