Shot clinic offers a variety of shots to keep pets healthy

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Pearl River County SPCA will host its biannual shot clinic Saturday at Jack Read Park to benefit pet wellness.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., pet owners will be able to get shots for their cats and dogs at a low rate, including an $8 rabies shot, $8 wellness shot, $8 heartworm checks and $8 bordetella shots as well as $10 microchips per pet, PRC SPCA President Carla Gerrard said.
The animal shelter began offering this biannual shot clinic in the fall and spring in 2003 because, “there was no avenue for people to get rabies shots besides the local vet, which for some people may be too expensive,” Gerrard said.
In the clinic’s inaugural years, the PRC SPCA only offered rabies shots, but a growing number of people began requesting more shots for their animals, which facilitated an expansion in the clinic’s services.
“More and more people are beginning to realize that their pet is more than just property. They need all the things we have, including medical treatment, just like our children do,” Gerrard said.
The most notable service the clinic offers is for heartworm tests, which Gerrard said is critical in southern Mississippi.
According to the American Heartworm Society, the two highest-risk regions for heartworms in dogs and cats is near the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and along river tributaries. What makes this region susceptible to heartworms is the humidity, temperature and presence of mosquito breeding areas.
“It is imperative that people get their animals tested,” Gerrard said. “The healthier they are, the better we all will be.”
Because the spring shot clinic receives a larger turnout, Gerrard recommends coming prepared, and insists pet owners keep their dogs on leashes and cats in carriers.
The wait, from beginning to end, could be between 30 minutes to 2 hours, Gerrad said. The PRC SPCA will be providing a jambalaya and red beans and rice lunch with a side of french bread for $6. Also, Coca-Cola will be giving out free products. A raffle will be held during the event and patrons will have a chance to buy an SPCA T-shirt. All proceeds from the shot clinic will go toward the spay and neuter program at the animal shelter, Gerrard said. A rabies shot at a vet clinic can cost up to $25 per animal, Gerrard said.
The shot clinic is also open to those who might have just acquired a 3 to 4 month puppy or kitten and need to get their first series of shots. The series shots cost $30 per animal and include all the full series.

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