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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hundreds of pets and people are now protected from a deadly disease.

Rabies affected 13 pets in New Hanover County in 2010, and Animal Control Services is trying to lower that number in 2011. Hundreds of pets got their free rabies shot Saturday. Protecting your pet against rabies is required by the State of North Carolina and New Hanover County. It is a serious disease, but getting vaccinated is easy and effective.

“If you vaccinate your pet, that’s the primary barrier to protect both people and animals. If your pet comes in contact with a rabid animal, if you booster it within five days of exposure, then you and your pet are safe. Not vaccinating a pet that comes in contact with a rabid animal, it could mean the destruction of your pet,” said Animal Control Director Jean McNeil.

Animal Control holds four free rabies clinics a year. The next free vaccination clinic will be June 4th at the health department.

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