Next week, the Berkshire Humane Society is hosting a free rabies vaccination clinic at their Pittsfield shelter.

Because of generous underwriting from Canna Provisions, staff will open the doors at 214 Barker Rd in Pittsfield next Tuesday and Wednesday for folks to bring in their cat and dogs for free rabies shots. Cats will be welcomed on Tuesday, May 24 from 4:30 pm to 6 pm. Dog vaccinations will take place Wednesday, May 25 from 5 pm to 7 pm.

All dogs must be on a short, non-retractable leash and cats must be brought in in carriers. Carriers can be provided if needed. Berkshire Humane Society asks all folks bringing in pets to bring in previous rabies vaccination records, even if they're expired.

As always, City of Pittsfield dog licenses will also be for sale.  In addition, $10 microchipping will be offered for folks whose pets are not already chipped. Microchipping registration forms can be found here and staff asks that they are filled out prior to arrival.

Massachusetts law requires that dogs, cats (even indoor) and ferrets must be vaccinated for rabies.

Rabies is a disease affecting all mammals, including man, caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system, including the brain. Symptoms may include unexplained aggression, impaired locomotion, varying degrees of paralysis, and extreme depression or viciousness. After the onset of symptoms, terminal paralysis and death are imminent.

According to, the cases that usually represent the highest numbers of human exposures involve rabid domestic animals. The most common domestic animal to contract rabies is the cat.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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