Over a hundred cars snaked around the parking lot of Richard R. Flores Stadium on Saturday morning. As a football game took place at the venue, the sounds of cheers and whistles were met with barking and the occasional yelp.
This was the scene at the city rabies clinic, which saw a substantial number of good girls and boys turn out for their yearly vaccinations.
“We have a better turnout than we did last time,” said Sgt. Ray Sepulveda of the Edinburg Police Department. “It’s great that the people are coming out.”
Sepulveda said that the turnout for Saturday’s rabies clinic was at least three times that of the clinic held in March.
“What we’re trying to do is provide a service to the community, which is vaccinate your pet,” Sepulveda said. “It’s very important that each animal has its rabies shot.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, domesticated animals account for 9% of reported cases in the United States, as of 2017. In humans, there are an average two to three reported cases a year, a considerable decrease from an average of over 100 cases a year just a century ago.
Sepulveda said that cars began lining up as early as 7:30 a.m. for the bi-annual event. He said that he anticipated the clinic running out of vaccines due to the overwhelming turnout.
Mary Garza, who is the supervisor for the Edinburg Animal Control, said that she had already given out over 60 pet licenses in less than an hour, including one woman who took home nine of the tags for her nine dogs.
“We love to see the people come out and participate in our rabies clinic,” Sepulveda said. “It makes us very happy. On behalf of Chief (Cesar) Torres, this is very important to the police department and the city of Edinburg.”
Eduardo and Dolores Vega had been waiting in line for about 30 minutes before making it to the vaccination station with their 1-year-old chocolate lab, Hope.
“I read about it in The Monitor, and I found it very informative,” said Dolores, who explained that this was her first time coming to one of the city’s rabies clinics. “I told my husband, ‘You need to help me take the dog so that she could be vaccinated.’”
Eduardo added that he found the clinic to be convenient. “Especially on a Saturday,” he added.
Laco Solis came to the clinic with Daisy, a 2-year-old Chihuahua-terrier mix, and Chico, a 12-year old Chihuahua-poodle mix.
“This is pretty awesome. It’s a good event,” Solis said. “It helps out the public here, and it’s a little cheaper than the veterinarians. So it really helps out.”