Has your dog or cat been vaccinated for rabies? The Westport Weston Health District and the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association are holding a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats on Saturday, June 12, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Westport Weston Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane, Westport.

The cost for vaccination is $20 per animal, cash only. There is no residency requirement. All dogs must be on leashes and cats must be in carriers. Pet owners who are on public assistance are permitted to have one pet vaccinated at no charge by showing their State Public Assistance Identification Cards to the clinic coordinator.

Bring the animal's prior vaccination records, if available. Written proof, either a valid rabies certificate or dog license showing a prior vaccination, must be presented to qualify for a three-year vaccination; otherwise, a one-year vaccination will be given. Collar tags and certificates of vaccination will be provided.

This year, the Town Clerk's office of Westport will make dog licenses (new and renewal) available for Westport dog owners during the vaccination clinic. The following fees apply: $8 for neutered male or spayed female, and $19 for male or female that is not (payable by cash or check).

Rabies is a viral infection that attacks the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals. The virus is transmitted in the saliva of infected animals, usually through a skin puncture or open wound. It is fatal to both animals and humans if left untreated. Post exposure vaccinations are available for humans but must be given before the onset of symptoms, as there is no cure once symptoms appear. Connecticut law requires all dogs and cats three months of age or older to be vaccinated against rabies.

Rabies is a public health threat so it is important to protect your pets from this virus. Vaccinated pets are the most effective method of preventing the spread of rabies from area wildlife to domestic animals and their human caretakers.

For more information on the clinic, contact Monica Wheeler, RN, at the health district, at 203-227-9571, ext. 242, or visit www.wwhd.org