LUMBERTON — County veterinarians are fighting back against rabies after the county’s 13th case in less than a year landed an Orrum woman in the hospital last week.
To help slow the spread of the fatal disease and protect area residents, 11 veterinarians from the county’s six veterinary hospitals will hold rabies clinics this Monday through Friday. The clinics will be held at each of the county’s 32 fire departments for a single day.
The clinics, sponsored by the Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association, will provide a rabies shot for the discounted price of $5, said Dr. David Brooks, a veterinarian from Pembroke. Sponsors are paying the remaining $3 that it costs to vaccinate each animal.
“We’re taking this [rabies vaccine] to the community,” Brooks said. “But it’s up to pet owners to show they are concerned enough about the dangers of rabies to come out and get the vaccinations done.”
Under state law, all dogs, cats and ferrets older than 4 months must be vaccinated for rabies . Local veterinarians are also recommending that horses be vaccinated.
The days and fire departments where the clinics will be held are as follows. All of the clinics will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. except for Prospect, which will be held Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
— Monday: Lumberton Central; Pembroke; Smith’s; St. Pauls and Red Springs.
— Tuesday: Saddletree; Fairmont Central; Smyrna; Parkton; Maxton Southeastern; Rennert; Burnt Swamp-Philadelphus; and Raft Swamp.
— Wednesday: Fairmont Rural; Prospect (5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.); Deep Branch; Rowland; Big Marsh; Northwoods; Pine Terrace; and Lumber Bridge.
— Thursday: Britts; Shannon; Pembroke Rural; Queheel; East Howellsville; and Sterlings.
— Friday: Allenton; Evans Crossroads; Orrum; Whitehouse; and Raynhem-McDonald.
Since November, rabies cases have been reported in Lumberton, Lumber Bridge, Orrum, Parkton, St. Pauls, Red Springs and Rowland. The virus is transmitted by infected animals and humans, with the symptoms including fever, headache, delirium and insomnia. In animals, symptoms also include foaming at the mouth.
Although rabies has an incubation period, it is considered fatal once the virus reaches the brain.