BH.01.FEB0619.C02 - Dufferin County Low Cost Rabies Clinics Rabies Program

To: Board of Health
Meeting Date: February 6, 2019
Report No.: BH.01.FEB0619.C02
Prepared By: Jessica Morris, Manager, Environmental Health
Approved By:Christopher Beveridge, Director, Health Protection
Submitted By and Signature: Dr. Nicola J. Mercer, MD, MBA, MPH, FRCPC Medical Officer of Health & CEO

Key Points

  • On November 24, 2018 and December 1, 2018 WDGPH hosted low-cost rabies vaccination clinics in Dufferin County.
  • Fifty-seven animals were vaccinated against rabies at these clinics.
  • Developed partnership with Dufferin County and a local veterinarian to run clinics in April and October on an annual basis.

Strategic Directions & Goals

Health Equity - We will provide programs and services that integrate equity principles to reduce or eliminate health differences between population groups.

  • We will work to improve health services for priority populations.
  • We will enhance our understanding of the local needs and priorities of the communities we serve and develop programs and services in response to those needs.
  • We will engage communities with more opportunities for collaboration.

Service Centred Approach - We are committed to providing excellent service to anyone interacting with public health.

  • We will seek input from clients and the community to inform planning and decision-making.
  • We will improve access to public health programs and services while enhancing the client experience.

Operational Plan Objectives

Promote/support low cost rabies clinics to increase vaccinated domestic animals

Summary of OPHS Program Requirements

OPHS Program: Rabies Prevention and Control


  • To prevent the occurrence of rabies in humans.


  • Health Protection
  • Disease Prevention
  • Assessment and Surveillance


  • Address the prevention and control of rabies threats as per a local Rabies Contingency Plan, as outlined in the Rabies Prevention and Control Protocol.

Accountability Indicators:

  • No

Performance variance or discrepancy identified:

  • No


Low-cost rabies vaccination clinics are a great way to reach pet owners who may not vaccinate their pets for a variety of reasons. Two low-cost rabies vaccination clinics were held in Dufferin County in November and December 2018 than enabled 57 animals to get vaccinated against rabies.

Partnership with College of Veterinarians of Ontario

Veterinarians play a key role in the combined effort to increase rabies vaccination rates and reduce the risk of human exposure to the rabies virus. The College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) created an opportunity to contribute to provincial efforts to control rabies in Ontario, called Rabies Programs. Rabies programs are services provided outside of the regular the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship that facilitate the administration of rabies vaccines to as many animals as possible. Rabies Programs can be offered at accredited veterinary facilities and, under specific conditions, at unaccredited facilities which facilitates the low-cost rabies vaccination of domestic animals.

Dufferin County Rabies Clinics

WDGPH staff collaborated with Dufferin County Emergency Services, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Orangeville (SPCA), and local veterinarian Dr. Julie Ballinger to coordinate two (2) clinic dates this past autumn. Clinic support was provided by volunteers who were recruited through Community Veterinary Outreach, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph and Dufferin Emergency Search & Rescue.

WDGPH Communications team promoted each clinic on the Agency website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which were successful at reaching a large number of people. Clinic attendees were provided with rabies promotional material including tote bags, reusable water bottles, Dufferin County Emergency Preparedness information and the opportunity to participate in a well water survey being conducted by WDGPH.

A post-clinic debrief identified that these clinics should continue to run out of a variety of locations in April and October using the developed local volunteer-base and the CVO Rabies Program describe above.

2018 County of Dufferin Low-Cost Rabies Clinics Statistics

Rabies Clinic Vaccination Information

Amaranth Town Hall (24 Nov 2018)

Horning Mills Community Centre (1 Dec 18)


cats vaccinated

8 18 26

dogs vaccinated

10 21 31

animals never vaccinated

3 7 10

clients with no veterinarian

1 5 6


Low-cost rabies clinics are an effective way to reach pet owners to vaccinate their pets against rabies that are unlikely to vaccinate their pets for a variety of reasons.

Four (4) low-cost rabies vaccination clinics are planned in 2019: two (2) in Ospringe and two (2) in different locations to be determined within Dufferin County. These clinics will be run in April and October to optimize attendance. Difficulty attracting a participating veterinarian has impacted the ability to plan a low-cost rabies clinic in Guelph.

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