Guest Column: Don't miss Saturday's rabies vaccination clinic

The crocuses are about done and the daffodils are blooming. The garlic is up and tulips are coming on. Furry critters are shedding handfuls of hair. It must be spring! And, that means it's time for the Williams Animal Action Group's (WAAG) 27th Annual Rabies Vaccination Clinic. It will be on Saturday, March 31, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Williams Rodeo Barn on Rodeo Road and Airport Road.

Dr. Karla Baker will be providing rabies vaccinations for cats and dogs for only $7. That includes the numbered tag and legal certificate. Healthy pets 12 weeks or older can be vaccinated. Please do not bring any sick animals as Dr. Baker will not be able to examine them. Pregnant or nursing pets cannot receive a shot.

The first rabies vaccination your pet receives is good for just one year. After that all the booster shots are valid for three years. Your rabies certificates will show the expiration date. Pets that received a three-year vaccination in 2009 are now due for a booster shot.

Once again WAAG volunteers will be filling out the rabies certificates at three stations. This keeps the line moving quickly. You can help us out by -

• Bringing along the old certificates with updated addresses and phone numbers as needed.

• If you have no certificates, bring a paper with your name, address and phone numbers along with your pet's name, age, breed, color and gender (please bring proof if it is altered).

• Bring exact change.

• Have your pets on leashes or in carriers.

• Let us know of any "code yellow" or "code brown" accidents so we can promptly clean them up.

WAAG will be unable to vaccinate your pets with the yearly distemper combination shots. However, Bob and Tansy Kuerner of Williams Feed and Pet Company will be on hand with distemper/parvo combination shots that you can purchase and, as the owner, administer yourself. We appreciate the Kuerner's help in keeping our community's pets safe from disease.

With the economic downturn, WAAG has seen a rapid rise in the costs of surgeries, post surgical meds and the gasoline for transportation. This has been coupled with a higher rate of requests for our help. We, therefore, had to put the Feral Cat Program on hold. It was very successful but drained our bank account almost dry.

The WAAG reduced cost spay and neuter program is mostly funded by donors. Some of them are grade school children saving pennies or crushed aluminum cans. The Bill Williams Seniors give us a contribution each year and there are pet owners who give extra when they have their cat or dog "fixed."

Recently, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) held a rummage sale to support WAAG. They made a big effort and it is an honor to receive their help. We all should be proud of the youth in our town.

WAAG needs your help to keep spay and neuter costs down. If you would like more information on donating or about the rabies clinic, call Kali Kaliche at (928) 635-2595.

See you this Saturday, March 31, noon to 3 p.m. at the Williams Rodeo Barn for the 27th Annual WAAG Rabies Vaccination Clinic.

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