IDCU HomeInfectious Diseases A-CD-GH-LM-QR-ST-ZHealthcare SafetyIDCU Health TopicsDisease ReportingRelated Rules & RegulationsImmunization BranchAbout IDCURelated DSHS SitesStaff Contact List
  • Contact Us

    Infectious Disease Control Unit
    Mail Code: 1960
    PO BOX 149347 - Austin, TX 78714-9347
    1100 West 49th Street, Suite T801
    Austin, TX 78714

    Phone: (512) 776-7676
    Fax: (512) 776-7616



imageOrganizing a Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic


Make it as convenient for the public as possible.

  • Avoid dates that may conflict with holidays, sports events, fairs, carnivals, or other special occasions.
  • Allow at least 2 hours for each clinic.
  • Try to schedule clinic hours as follows:
      • Weekdays - after 5:30 pm
      • Saturdays - between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm
      • Sundays - after 12:00 pm

Choose a location that:

  • is familiar to the public
  • is easily accessible
  • has adequate parking
  • offers good traffic flow
  • has adequate lighting
  • offers a covered area for inclement weather.
  • Keep the cost to the pet owner as low as possible, preferably $5.00 or less for vaccinating each pet.
  • Free vaccinations are not recommended; they do not promote responsible pet ownership.
  • Enlist support from local veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary associations, as well as local agricultural extension services and other community service organizations.
  • Recruit volunteers from local schools and organizations such as Future Farmers of America, civic organizations, animal control agencies, animal shelters, humane societies, volunteer firefighters, health departments, etc.
  • Notify the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners at least 48 hours prior to conducting the clinic.
  • Perform the notification by telephone, fax, mail, or electronic mail. (If using regular mail service, postmark 5 days in advance).
  • Include the name, address, and telephone number of the veterinarian(s) designated to keep the rabies vaccination certificate book(s), as well as where and when the clinic will be held.


Try to reach all of the people

  • Begin publicizing at least 2 weeks prior to the date scheduled for the vaccination clinic.
  • Provide accurate and detailed information concerning the date, time, location, process, and cost.
  • Utilize all media types available.
    • Provide interviews on talk shows
    • Contact radio stations, television stations, newspapers, etc.
  • Disseminate information through other organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, churches, schools, etc.
    • School nurses and health and agricultural teachers are good sources for disseminating information and motivating students to participate.
  • Place vaccination clinic posters in high traffic locations. Posters are available free of charge from the Texas Department of Health in both English and Spanish.
  • Use vehicles with sound systems in areas where radio and television broadcasts are limited.
  • Conduct educational visits throughout the community.
    • Present school educational programs immediately prior to the clinic date for maximum effectiveness.

Conducting The Vaccination Clinic

Utilize Support Personnel

  • Recruit multiple writers to complete the vaccination certificates and assign rabies vaccination tags.
  • Designate a responsible person(s) to handle the money.
  • Assign someone to inform and direct tho public as to the process and traffic flow.
  • Recruit trained personnel to assist in animal restraint as needed.

Have The Proper Equipment on Hand

  • Tables, chairs, signs, pens, money box with change, paper towels, cleaning solution, water, trash bags, etc.
  • Extra leashes, pet carriers, pillowcases, towels, protective leather gloves, etc.
  • Animal waste cleanup equipment.
  • Medical waste equipment such as sharp containers, biohazard trash bags, etc.
  • First aid kit for bites and scratches.
  • Dog biscuits or treats, if you wish to provide them as pet rewards.

Think Ahead

  • Decide, in advance, if checks will be accepted.
  • Fill in the rabies vaccination certificate book(s) with the clinic date, name of the product, lot number, and designated signature prior to starting the clinic.

Think Safety

Require that:

  • all dogs be kept on a leash or in a carrier.
  • all cats be kept on a leash or in a carrier, cat bag, or pillowcase.

Suggest that:

  • young children remain at home.
  • owners not hold their pet while it receives its injection.

Rabies Vaccine Recommendations

  • Use a vaecine that provides a 3-year duration of immunity.
  • Store the vaccine between 2o C (35o F) and 8o C (46o F) at all times.
  • Fill syringes prior to mass vaccination clinics and store them at the same temperature as the vaccine until used.
  • Dispose of all used needles and syringes in proper containers.

Process Tips

Maximum efficiency can be achieved by providing at least three separate stations, including a

  • cashier station,
  • certificate station with multiple writers, and
  • rabies vaccination station.

Flow from station to station can vary according to the size of the clinic and space available. The following are examples of clinic flow models.

Ticket Method

This method is preferred when vaccinating a large number of pets

  1. Pay vaccination fee; receive ticket.
  2. Take ticket to next station; receive rabies vaccination certificate and tag.
  3. Take certificate and tag to veterinarian; pet receives vaccination.

Tag Method

Same as the ticket method, except that the rabies tag is used as the ticket.

Certificate Method

Use this technique only when immunizing a small number of pets. This method utilizes only 2 stations and tends to be slow and time consuming.

  1. Pay vaccination fee; receive certificate and tag.
  2. Take certificate and tag to veterinarian; pet receives vaccination.

Red Flag Method

Use this method for vaccinating dangerous dogs or difficult-to-handle cats. This is best done away from the crowd in or near the owner's vehicle, or in a secluded area of the clinic facility. Explain during the promotional campaign that this alternative method will be available.

  1. Leave pet in vehicle or designated area under supervision.
  2. Pay vaccination fee; receive tag and certificate; receive red flag designation.
  3. Arrange to have a veterinarian and animal handler vaccinate pet at designated area.

Advise all participants to keep the rabies vaccination certificate in a safe place. Remind people traveling with their pet to keep a copy of the certificate with them at all times.


11/96 Stock No. 7-12
Last updated February 22, 2011