Rabies vaccination costs rise

Published 7:12 pm Saturday, July 25, 2009

JACKSON—As of August, it will cost you more to vaccinate your pet in Northampton County.

On Monday, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners agreed to increase the current $8 rabies vaccination fee for both in-county residents and out-of-county residents.

Health Department Director Sue Gay presented the board with the decision paper. The Board of Health approved the fee increase during their July 9 meeting.

For county residents the fee will rise to $10 per vaccination and for out-of-county residents the cost will be $13.

Gay stated that since the death of Veterinarian Dr. James “Doc” Brown, there has been an increase in calls for rabies vaccination. Animal Control Officer Bill Person and Animal Cruelty Investigator Karen Cole are certified rabies vaccinators for the county.

Gay said each year, the Health Department holds three free rabies vaccinations clinics within the county. At those clinics out-of-county residents are charged $3. Other than a minimal amount of fees collected, the program is entirely funded by county tax dollars.

Commissioner Chester Deloatch asked why Halifax County citizens come to Northampton to get their animals vaccinated.

“Probably due to the price,” Gay responded.

She continued by saying that the cost varies according to the veterinarian and she wasn’t sure how frequently Halifax County offered free clinics.

“Now, when Doc Brown was alive and in service to this county, he had something to do with that rate, correct,” questioned Commissioner Virginia Spruill.

“Yes, he did,” said Gay.

Spruill said whatever Brown thought was proper and right for the citizens, that is what he charged.

Gay agreed then added the $8 rate had been set for at least 10 years.

“Now we’re just catching up with the cost,” said Spruill.

“Right,” said Gay.

Commission Vice Chair Fannie Greene offered a motion to accept the rabies vaccination rate increase; Spruill offered a second. The motion passed without objection.

The new rates are effective August 1.