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- Lindsay Man Pleads Guilty For Failing to Comply With Order to Vaccinate Pet Against Rabies -

(CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES) – Area residents are being reminded about their legal responsibility to have pets vaccinated against rabies after a local dog owner was convicted for failing to live up to the law.

The Health Unit’s reminder comes just ahead of Low-Cost Rabies Vaccinations Clinics set for this Saturday (October 3) at participating veterinarians’ offices across the region.

During a court case in Lindsay in late September, a City of Kawartha Lakes resident received fines totalling $1,600 for failing to have his dog immunized against rabies. The local dog owner pled guilty in court to breaching Ontario Regulation 567/90, which requires every owner or person having the care and custody of a cat or dog three months of age or over to ensure the animal has proper and up-to-date rabies immunization.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit became involved in the case more than a year ago as the result of an animal bite investigation.

According to the Health Unit, laying charges against the dog owner came as a “last resort” after the owner ignored repeated requests and orders to vaccinate his dog for rabies and keep it isolated during an animal bite investigation. The dog owner was also cited for obstructing the work of a Public Health Inspector. The combined fines of $1,600 are one of the highest ever handed out for such a case in this area.

“First and foremost, we educate and work with pet owners to get their animal immunized,” says Richard Ovcharovich, Manager of Environmental Health with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Legal action is a last resort, but sometimes, it is a necessary step to show animal owners that rabies immunization is a requirement for their pets.”

Rabies is a serious disease that is fatal in humans and animals. People and pets, including dogs and cats, can get rabies by being licked, bitten or scratched by other warm-blooded mammals such as bats, racoons, skunks and foxes that are infected with rabies.

“We consider rabies a serious public health issue, so it’s vital that pet owners protect their dogs and cats by getting them vaccinated,” Ovcharovich adds. “During an animal bite investigation, if pet owners are not going to comply with Health Unit requests and orders, they will be charged and prosecuted.”

Ovcharovich says the rabies conviction is a timely reminder, given the Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination clinics scheduled on October 3. Cost for the rabies vaccine is $25 per animal (cash only), and no examination of the animal will take place at the clinic. Dogs need to be on leashes and cats should be in a carrier. To find a clinic in your area, call your local veterinarian or click here.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Richard Ovcharovich, Manager of Environmental Health , HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569, or 1-866-888-4577.

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