Rabies Control

Phone: 315-786-3730

Fax: 315-779-8607

Rabies Vaccination Clinics

Dogs, cats and domesticated ferrets must be at least 3 months of age to receive their first rabies vaccination and must have the initial shot no later than 4 months after birth according to New York State Health Law.  JCPHS offers 4 rabies vaccination clinics each spring at Jefferson County Dog Control, and several clinics each summer at various locations throughout Jefferson County. 

Summer Rabies Vaccination Clinics

Two other clinics are pending and will be added to the above list once confirmed. If you cannot attend any of these clinics, you may contact your veterinarian or local pet supply store as they usually offer low-cost vaccinations. JCPHS clinics are donation based. We suggest a $10 donation per pet to help cover clinic costs. Dogs must be leashed and cats must be contained. If available, please bring a copy of your pet's last certificate of vaccination.

Rabies Control

Rabies is a viral disease which almost always leads to death, unless treatment is given soon after exposure to the virus.  Only mammals can get rabies.  Most cases of rabies occurs in skunks, raccoons, bats, coyotes and foxes. 

Rabies control encompasses exposure follow-ups for humans and domestic animals through contact investigations, pre and post-exposure treatments, animal confinements and quarantines, laboratory specimen submissions, vaccination clinics for domestic animals, and community education.

An exposure includes: a bite, an open wound exposure, or a mucous membrane exposure. If there is no exposure to you or your pet and you would like help removing the animal, you may call the Watertown Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) office at 315-785-2239 or visit the DEC website for a current list of Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators.

Domestic Animal Bites/Exposures

If your pet bites someone or you are bitten:

  • Your pet will not be removed from you. 
  • Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water.  Encourage the bite victim to see a medical provider.
  • Check with your pet’s veterinarian to make sure your pet is up-to-date on its rabies vaccination.
  • Call Jefferson County Public Health Service to report the bite. Your pet will not be removed from you. You must confine your pet at home for a period of time for rabies observation.


Wild Animal Bites/Exposures

  • If you can do so safely, catch the animal. Do not damage the animal’s head, because the brain is needed to test for rabies.
  • Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Call your doctor.
  • Call JCPHS to report the bite.



If you wake up and find a bat in your room, you should try to catch the bat to have it tested.  You should also catch a bat if you find a bat in a room with an unattended child, or near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person.  Bats have very small teeth, so they may not be aware if they’ve been bitten. Call JCPHS to determine if the bat needs to be tested for rabies.


NYSDOH Rabies webpage

Rabies Factsheet

Protect Yourself Against Rabies

NYS Rabies Legislative Mandates