In the past two weeks, there have been seven confirmed cases of rabies in New Hanover County. Animal Control officials say they haven't seen that many since the late nineties, and as a result, hundreds of pet owners took advantage of a free rabies clinic Saturday. The Tover's were toward the end of the free rabies clinic line, which was about a half-mile long, stretching from Animal Control on Division Drive all the way to where it meets 23rd Street. “We’re here for rabies shots for Jaden and Lily.” Residents said the wait was well worth it. "Vaccination of your pet is the best protection, for you or your pet; it's critical that you have that done,” said Jean McNeal of NHC Animal Control. At the very least, standing in line was a free dog and cat show. There were Collies, Golden Retrievers, and itsy-bitsy Chihuahuas. “I had no idea it was going to be lengthy, and we would be here waiting, but everything is moving pretty smoothly, I’m enjoying the dogs and stuff,” said Melvin Whitehead. Officials said Saturday's turnout reflects the community's response to the number of rabies cases in the county, and with the state of the economy, free rabies vaccinations are definitely a plus. New Hanover County Animal Control offers free clinics every month. The next rabies clinic is April 19th, from 10:00 – 3:00.
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