The City of Brownsville Public Health Department in partnership with local veterinarians and the Brownsville Independent School District will sponsor the yearly rabies clinics starting Tuesday at several locations and dates throughout the city.
The event will kick off Tuesday and will continue until May 11 at several BISD schools where veterinarians will administer the rabies shot for $12 per pet, with other boosters also available.
“It’s not the first year, we do it every year. However, last year because of COVID we paused it. If you remember, a year ago, when COVID was just hitting, we weren’t sure if we could have them or not, so we didn’t,” Public Health Director Art Rodriguez said.
“So, we are getting back on track, it has happened every year for many years. It is a collaborative relationship between the veterinarians, our shelter, the health department and the school district.”
Rodriguez said the school district helps with the locations and the veterinarians help with the availability. He said the city’s job is to inform the community about the event.
“Essentially, the school district helps us find the locations, the veterians helps us by being available and then we combine both the location and the availability,” he said.
“We put this information out there, we market it and we just basically want to remind everyone the importance of vaccinating their pets, getting the rabies vaccine.”
Rodriguez said it is important to host these clinics yearly throughout the city so that everyone can have an opportunity to attend. He added it’s also important to have them low-cost so the price is not a barrier for the community.
“The reason we do the clinics at different parts is so that everyone has an opportunity to go to them, low-income areas. We really want to facilitate the rabies clinics throughout the whole city,” he said.
“These clinics are at low cost so that the cost is not a barrier. We know that during the summer months, bats, foxes, and certain types of animals during the dry days are more suspected to get rabies. So, there’s a peak season for rabies and it’s usually during the summer months. So, every year, we try to do our rabies clinic ahead of those summer months so that the people can vaccine their pets.”
Rodriguez said the clinics are first-come first-serve and he recommends those interested in attending to get there on time. He said due to the clinic being paused last year, there might be a big crowd.
“It is first-come, first-serve, we normally bring enough vaccines and don’t run out of them,” he said.
“But we know that it’s been a year since all this started with COVID, so we are expecting some big crowds. Just come early and by early I mean, be there on time.”
Rodriguez said he would like to remind the community that if they find a dead animal such as a bat, to not handle it without calling animal control because it could have rabies.
When it comes to the pets, he said he recommends to keep them in shelter with plenty of water. He said more recommendations will be posted on the city’s website when the summer gets closer.
“Keep them in shelter, with plenty of water. Don’t let them loose without a leash because you don’t know what they’re getting into and most importantly, know the science and symptoms of rabies,” he said.
“We will post it on our website, but it usually is the dogs are acting differently, you see them real thirsty, or the opposite they won’t drink water. They start to exhibit different behavior patterns.”
The locations and dates for the clinics are the following:
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on March 23 at Burns Elementary School.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on March 25 at Skinner Elementary School.
>> From 2 to 4 p.m. on March 27 at Faulk Middle School.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on March 30 at Russell Elementary School.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 6 at Garcia Middle School.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 8 at Castaneda Middle School.
>> From 2 to 4 p.m. on April 10 at Veterans Memorial ECHS.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 13 at Garza Elementary School.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 15 at Oliveira Middle School.
>> From 2 to 4 p.m. on April 17 at Putegnat Elementary School.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 20 at Southmost Elementary School.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 22 at Vela Middle School.
>> From 2 to 4 p.m. on April 24 at Garden Park Elementary.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 27 at Perez Elementary.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 29 at Yturria Elementary School.
>> From 2 to 4 p.m. on May 1 at Champion Elementary School.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on May 4 at Lucio Middle School.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on May 6 at Stell Middle School.
>> From 2 to 4 p.m. on May 8 at Porter ECHS.
>> From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on May 11 at Benavides Elementary School.
Pets must be 12 weeks of age or older to receive the rabies vaccine. Cats must be in a pet carrier and dogs controlled on a leash.
For more information, call the Brownsville Animal Regulation and Care Center at (956) 544-7351.