Loudoun County Animal Services’ first free rabies vaccination event more than doubled the previous record for the number of animals vaccinated at a county event.
On Friday, July 17, Animal Services held a clinic at Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park, where 333 animals—241 dogs and 92 cats—received a rabies vaccine and/or a license, more than twice the number of the previous largest low-cost clinic offered by LCAS.
After that success, plans are being made for another event later this year.
More than 40 low-cost pet vaccine clinics sponsored by other organizations in Loudoun County have been canceled due to COVID-19, according to Animal Services. The county department began planning for the free vaccination event as son as Virginia entered Phase 3 of Governor Ralph Northam’s “Forward Virginia” reopening plan.
In addition to the free rabies vaccines, all dog owners at the event were given a free, one-year Loudoun County dog license, thanks to a one-time gift from the Animal Program Trust Fund.
“People may think of dog licenses as just a tag, but even when a dog is not wearing their tag, we are able to review our license records quickly when a dog is found, and it is through licensing that more than 80 percent of our lost dogs are able to find their way back home,” said Humane Law Enforcement Chief Chris Brosan.
Visitors to the clinic started lining up early in the morning.
“We heard from numerous community members who are struggling financially right now,” said Animal Services Director Nina Stively. “COVID-19 is forcing people to make difficult changes in their lives, but we want to make sure we are here to support our community and help them keep their pets healthy and with the families who love them.”
The Friends of Loudoun County Animal Services has begun fundraising for another clinic in the fall to include low-cost microchipping along with the rabies vaccinations. The date has not yet been announced. Donations to support future free and low-cost clinics can be made at www.flcas.org.