Responsible pet owners will take steps to ensure that their pets are spayed or neutered and that all of their vaccinations are kept up-to-date. What should California dog owners keep in mind with regard to the rabies vaccination?
California is Still Considered a Rabies State
Rabies is an ever present threat in California, but is most often seen in skunks, bats and other wild animals. Although the incidence of reported rabies infection is fairly low in domestic animals, you should still take preventative steps to keep your dogs and family members safe from rabies, which is a deadly viral disease that can be transmitted through the bite or scratch of a rabid animal. If you or your children are bitten by an animal that is (or could be) rabid, you will need to see a doctor right away.
When Should Dogs Be Vaccinated Against Rabies?
Puppies younger than four months of age should be kept confined and away from other animals. Once the dog reaches four months, dog owners should have their dog vaccinated against rabies from a licensed veterinarian. After initial vaccination, dogs will need to receive an annual rabies vaccination. Consult your vet to find out more about the frequency of the rabies vaccination and about rabies licensing.
Dog owners who deliberately refuse to vaccinate their dogs against rabies could have the animal impounded and they will face a stiff fine or imprisonment for their deliberate violation of the law.
If your dog has bitten another animal or a person and you refuse to disclose the whereabouts of the dog or you refuse to hand the dog over to be quarantined when animal services show up, you will also face prosecution. This is considered a misdemeanor in the state of California and you will be punished accordingly.
Rabies should be taken seriously by dog owners. Even though it is rare for domestic animals such as dogs to contract rabies in California, there is still the remote possibility that your dog could contract the disease from a wild animal that wanders onto your property or through other means. If you own a puppy, keep the animal confined until he is four months old and then have the animal vaccinated against rabies. After the initial vaccination, the dog will need to receive a booster rabies vaccination a year later. Consult your vet to learn more about your responsibilities as a dog owner.
The Daily Puppy, California Rabies Law.
VIP Petcare Services, Homepage.