LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – Saturday, pet owners can head to Lawton Animal Welfare to get their dogs or cats a free rabies shot, but there is a limited supply.
Rabies is a serious disease that affects the brains of dogs and cats. It can be deadly in animals and can be passed from pets to humans.
To help stop the disease, Lawton Animal Welfare is giving away free rabies shots to the first 250 pets through their doors this Saturday.
The 250 rabies vaccines were all donated by a pharmaceutical company. Each shot typically costs around $20 so donating that many shots is a huge help to both the animal shelter and the pet owners in our community.
Lawton Animal Welfare Superintendent Russell Anderson said the biggest reason for Saturday's event is education.
"To raise awareness about the deadliness of rabies. That's the number one goal, to raise awareness that it's so important to get that," Anderson said.
Anderson said he thinks every single dog and cat should get the rabies vaccine.
"Especially if you live out in the country and your dog is outside all the time, it's very important because that's something that can transmit between K-9 and human, so you have the potential there to spread it to the human genome," Anderson said. "So, it's very important not only for the dog's life but for your own safety and your kids and grandkids, whoever's around you."
Anderson said the rabies shot is actually the only vaccine that all dogs and cats are legally required to get.
"A lot of people don't know that you have to get this, or that rabies is something from back in the 1920s," Anderson said. "It's really not. It's still something today that shelters all across the United States battle. So, if I can prevent 250 animals from ever getting rabies, I think it's a win-win."
The event runs from 10 a.m. to two p.m. on Saturday and Anderson said if you want one of the free shots, you will want to make sure you arrive early.
"The last two events we did like this, we did for Lawton residents, we strictly did it for Lawton," Anderson said. "This one we're opening up, it's to anyone who shows up with a pet with a valid ID. And they're friendly pets, if your animal needs to be muzzled because it's a little more aggressive, then it needs to be muzzled prior to bringing it down here."
Anderson said the event will coincide with their 'Two Hearts' adoption event, where the adoption fees are just $15. He said because of the long weekend brought on by Memorial Day and the City of Lawton's Furlough day, their facility is becoming overcrowded with animals in need of a good home.