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Rabies clinic in city vaccinates 148 animals

Dr. Jay Bache of Forestville Animal Hospital along with Bill and Jeremy Styborski, volunteers for the Lakeshore Humane Society work on vaccinating a cat at the Free Rabies Clinic in the city of Dunkirk.

Volunteers for the rabies clinic held recently at the UPMC Alstar Ambulance site in the city of Dunkirk saw 148 animals vaccinated. This is three times as many as the clinics average thanks to COVID-style preregistration steps.

The City of Dunkirk and the Chautauqua County Health Department co-sponsored the free event with Dr. Jay Bache from the Forestville Animal Hospital along with volunteers from the Lakeshore Humane Society and the Pet Pantry.

“With COVID, it’s a drive-through service. We’ve only had a few of them in the county, this is only our third one,” Dunkirk Dog Control Officer Denise Zentz stated.

“People preregister at one of our time slots and then after that I take them by phone to fill up the rest of them. We try to do 150 per clinic and it’s in 15-minute increments, so they are given a time to show up and every 15 minutes we have a new group of people showing up.”

Zentz shared that people remain in their vehicle and follow all mandated protocols.

“We remove the animal from the vehicle. We give the animal a shot and put them back in the vehicle,” Zentz noted. “We were fortunate to have it this time at the Alstar Ambulance site and it was amazing because they drive right through the garage. I don’t think we’re ever going to go back to the old way because it’s just so much easier.”

Before this setup if a clinic was at 9 a.m. people would be there at 7 a.m. and it took time to preregister with information. This would oftentimes lead to only 50 animals being vaccinated, now with the paperwork all out of the way they’re able to do many more.

“As soon as they pull up they’re given their number we give them their envelope, they drive on through and it takes no more than 10 minutes; it’s way more efficient,” Zentz said. “We’ve had people all the way from Findley Lake that came down for this, that’s a hike for them to come all the way down to pre register and then drive all the way back then come down for the actual clinic. So I did those on the phone and they would send me the previous vaccination information via text or they would bring it to the event and then we would check the shot from a one year to a three year vaccine.”

Another clinic is planned for May 1 with Dr. Rebekah Frost and will be orchestrated the same way. Preregistration begins Tuesday, April 13 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Dunkirk Dog Park located at 855 Main St. Ext.

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