Sunday’s fifth annual low-cost rabies clinic at the Perry Dog Park was marked by the usual happy children and high-spirited pets, with 65 Perry-area dogs and cats receiving rabies vaccinations and several distemper/parvo combination vaccinations. Three four-footers were microchipped, and several were scanned to check for the presence of microchips.
The joyous mood was tempered by the announcement by Humane Society of Perry President Abby Benifiel that she will step down from the society’s presidency Oct. 1. Benifiel has led the volunteer non-profit group for 12 years.
“My phone will still be ringing,” Benifiel said Sunday as she microchipped a frisky husky at the rabies clinic. “I’ll continue as a consultant to the group and will still be a very active member, but it’s time for me to pass on this duty to more energetic hands.”
Benifiel said Humane Society of Perry Vice President Breanna Gonzalez of Dawson will serve as the interim president until the next round of elections. The group and other local supporters will meet Monday at 7 p.m. at the McCreary Community Building in order to thank Benifiel for her service to local pets and discuss ways forward for the society.
Gonzalez said she expects to rely on Benifiel during the transition to new leadership.
“Abby really does bring a lot to the table as she knows her stuff, and that’s critical,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve worked closely with her for a few years now and really learned a lot.”
Dr. Lisa Thilges of the Prairie View Animal Hospital in Grimes also knows her stuff. She administered the vaccinations at Sunday’s low-cost rabies clinic for the second year running.
“The more animals you are helping in the community the better,” said Thilges. “For a lot of folks, this is the only time they may see a vet from one year to the next.”
Thilges also identified medical conditions in several of the animals that require closer examination in a clinic setting.
Vaccinations were $10 and microchipping was $20. Dogs must receive a rabies vaccination yearly but if they are brought to a vet before the year expires, the second vaccination is good for three years, Thilges said. A Perry city ordinance requires all dogs residing within the city limits to be current on their rabies shots.
For more information about the Humane Society of Perry or to volunteer, attend Monday’s 7 p.m. meeting at the McCreary Community Building.