Health Department, Animal Care Centers of NYC and Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals Co-host First Rabies Vaccination and Dog Licensing Event of 2017

Free rabies vaccinations offered to the city’s dogs and cats

Since 2014, 1,200 New Yorkers have taken advantage of the free events

April 1, 2017 — This weekend, the Health Department, Animal Care Centers of NYC, and Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals provided free rabies vaccinations to the city’s dogs and cats for the first time this year. This free event — made possible through a partnership with the Parks Department, Assembly Member David I. Weprin, Community Board 4 Queens and Fantasy Forest at the Flushing Meadows Carousel — was held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. New York City requires that all puppies and kittens get their first rabies shot between 3 and 4 months of age. The Health Department also provided on-the-spot licensing for dogs and waived the $2 late fee for renewing an expired license.

“As New Yorkers begin to enjoy the outdoors with their pets at this time of year, it is important to remember the steps we can take to keep our pets healthy and safe,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Keeping up with rabies vaccinations and licensing our dogs is an easy way to protect our beloved pets, as well as our fellow New Yorkers. I thank our partners at ACC, the Mayor’s Alliance and the Parks Department for co-hosting this event and providing these essential services.”

Last year, the Health Department co-hosted six vaccination and licensing events throughout the five boroughs. An estimated 500 vaccinations were distributed and 660 dogs were licensed. Since the Health Department began holding these events in 2014, 1,200 New Yorkers have taken advantage of the free services.

“Pet animals are important companions to families all across Queens and New York” said Assemblyman David Weprin. “With their love and affection, they take care of us in countless ways, so it’s important to repay the favor. Keeping our pets healthy is vital and having pets vaccinated against rabies helps us protect all New Yorkers, including our animal friends.”

Pet Health and Safety Tips:
  • Make sure your pet is fixed. Spaying or neutering reduces the number of unwanted dogs or cats, reduces risk of cancers and helps prevent territorial aggression. Studies show that unaltered animals are more likely to bite than altered ones. All cats allowed outdoors must be spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies.
  • Keep your dog on a leash. To keep people and pets safe, all dogs must be kept on a leash when in public, except in designated park areas.
  • Pick up after your pet. According to City law, pet owners must pick up pet waste from sidewalks and other public spaces. Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a fine.
  • Get your dog to the vet each year. Like you, your dog needs a regular checkup and vaccinations to stay healthy. Visits to the vet can help with many health issues and prevent illnesses.
Dog Licensing Benefits:
  • Licensing helps reunite lost dogs with their owners via the dog eLocator system.
  • With proof of current dog license and rabies vaccination, your dog can run off leash in the NYC Parks dog runs.
  • Licensing is important to family emergency preparedness to ensure a dog and its owner are reunited in case of separation during an emergency.
  • Licensed dogs can enter outdoor eating areas of restaurants offering “dining with dogs.”
  • Only licensed dogs are part of the Department’s annual popular name announcement.

New York State law requires that all owned dogs be licensed. Dog licenses are also available online at



MEDIA CONTACT: Christopher Miller/Julien Martinez, (347) 396-4177