ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. — Orange County officials hosted a rabies clinic on Saturday as hundreds of pet owners braved the heat and long lines to get rabies shots for their cats and dogs.
Animal control officials said they hosted the clinic because they were alarmed about the rise in cases of the deadly disease.
Last year, Orange County animal control reported four confirmed cases of rabies. But this year, there have been 12 confirmed cases.
"There's no recourse once the symptoms appear in an animal or a person," Amanda Stipe of Carrboro Animal Control said.
So on Saturday, workers with local veterinary clinics administered rabies shots to more than 100 dogs and cats for a $5 fee.
"You never know when a wild animal will come into your yard," pet owner Bonnie Stanford said. "You just don't know when they might be exposed to a rabid animal."
Pipe said the rise in rabies may be because of raccoons.
"We've had a few more instances this year of raccoons having contact with people's pets, which is why we're holding this vaccination clinic," Stipe said.
Orange County will hold two more rabies clinics, in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill, on July 28.
To learn more about the clinics, and the rabies disease, please check out the Orange County Health Department Web site at