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Dog Day Owners Don't Flock To Get Pet Vaccines
The rabies clinic for dogs at Riverbank's Community Center Park did not draw the long lines of animals and owners it used to do. Saturday morning's event had only a handful of dogs and people visit compared with the hundreds of customers backed up around the block it drew a few years ago.

Organizers estimated about 20 dogs and their owners visited, of which most animals received shots and 12 or so licenses as well.

Oakdale and Animal Control Services put the event together with the aid of the River Oaks Veterinary Hospital and the City of Riverbank.

Riverbank now contracts with Oakdale for animal control services instead of with Stanislaus County and Oakdale Animal Control officers issued dog licenses for Riverbank or Oakdale residents only.

Vet Mike Hellman, however, was giving rabies shots to all comers because they are a state requirement along with shots directed against diseases like parvo and distemper if requested.

Numbers also were down, City Human Services specialist Norma Torres-Manriquez noted, because there's been a gap of several years in the Riverbank rabies clinics. The last the city organized in cooperation with Stanislaus County and open to dog owners throughout the county was in 2007.

Animal spaying and neutering at that time used to cost about $100 in a vet's office and the county drew large numbers of dog owners by offering to the first 100 applicants a certificate to substantially cut that cost. Rabies clinics are still a good deal for dog owners compared with getting shots at an office, she added.

Hellman noted rabies is required by state authorities for the protection of the public against dog bites, parvo is a deadly disease that is prevalent in this county and distemper also has seen a resurgence here in recent years.