MOREHEAD CITY — It looked like a drive-through restaurant Saturday morning in the parking lot of the County Health Department.
Instead of picking up food, however, county residents brought their pets to receive free rabies vaccinations during a drive-through rabies clinic.
It’s the first time the health department has tried a drive-through format, but judging from the reaction of residents waiting in vehicles with their animals, it won’t be the last.
“I love this, I really do,” Teresa Proctor of Newport said as she watched her dog receive a vaccination from County Animal Control Supervisor Lauren Anderson and animal control officer Nikki Chesnokov. “I’ve waited in line about 10 minutes.”
Two lines of vehicles, filled with animals, snaked through the health department parking lot. Workers had pet owners fill out the rabies certificate information as they waited in line, then had two tables set up where people received rabies tags and pets were vaccinated.
Ms. Anderson and Ms. Chesnokov would gently take the pets from the vehicles, give them a quick shot, then place them back in the cars and trucks. People entered the parking lot on the east end, and exited out of the west end.
Jennifer Blalock, who had six small dogs receiving vaccinations, too, said she liked the drive-through format.
“I am thrilled with this,” she said. “I am so grateful the county is doing this so we can take care of our pets.”
Ms. Anderson said she was pleased with the way it went and planned to do it again.
“I felt like this would go smoothly and be more efficient,” Ms. Anderson said.
Environmental Health Director Jesse Dail, who was assisting residents with filling out paperwork and collecting rabies tags, also said he was pleased with the new method.
“The lines have been steady since 7:45 a.m. and I think this has gone really well,” he said.
By 11:45 a.m., there had been 310 rabies vaccinations given, and while the clinic was supposed to end at noon, Mr. Dail said if there were still people waiting in line at that time, they would continue.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.