MUSCATINE, Iowa–Muscatine Animal Control Officer Nicole Ashby has seen first hand the need for pets to have proper identification and up to date rabies vaccinations. Wanting to make sure area residents can access these services affordably, she worked with several community partners to put together Muscatine County’s first low-cost rabies vaccine and microchip clinic, scheduled for June 4.
Originally from Davenport, Ashby had seen Scott County hold several annual low-cost rabies vaccine and microchip clinics and she wanted to bring something similar to pet owners in Muscatine County and beyond. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a few years,” she reflected.
“Muscatine County needs something to help people that don’t get to the vet often get a vaccine that’s required by city ordinance and a microchip that can help reunite a lost pet.”
Ashby contacted the Muscatine Humane Society about her ideas for the clinic, and they eagerly granted her permission to use the Canine Activity Center of Muscatine, located at 920 Houser Street. She also partnered with a retired veterinarian, who graciously agreed to offer rabies vaccines and microchipping at a discounted rate.
From 5 to 7 p.m., any Iowa resident may come to the clinic and have their cat or dog receive a rabies vaccine for $10 and a microchip, complete with registration, for $25. Additionally, anyone who comes to the clinic can purchase a pet identification tag they can have engraved while they wait for $10-12, depending on size, as well as City of Muscatine pet licenses. Required of all city pet owners to prove they have vaccinated their pets and to identify them if they get lost, these licenses cost $25 for unneutered or un-spayed pets and $5 for spayed and neutered animals. Owners age 65 or older can register unaltered pets for $15 and altered pets for $3. Dog owners may also purchase a pass for the Muscatine Dog Park at the clinic as well.
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ashby observed that many people did not take their pets to the veterinarian either out of concern for their own health or at having to wait outside while their animal received treatment. Consequently, many pets need to catch up on routine vaccination and some young pets may not have gotten a microchip when they usually would have.
Though the clinic will not replace the relationship and regular care that a veterinarian provides, it can help people get some of their pet’s most basic needs caught up at a very reasonable price. “If someone is in a pinch for cash, we want to help them a little,” emphasized Ashby. “We’re excited about it and we hope people show up.” For more information about the clinic, visit animal control’s event on Facebook.