Why does Animal Services require rabies vaccinations so often?

BY PAUL ROBERTS, CITY ATTORNEY

QUESTION: Why does Animal Services require rabies vaccinations so often?

Answer: Having your cat or dog immunized against rabies is critical to their health. We have received reports of several dead bats in our area this summer. Bats are notorious carriers of rabies. As a dog owner, I have no doubt that my canine would curiously nose at and/or chew on a dead bat, should he come upon one. A pet cat or dog that consumes or comes into contact with bats is at risk of contracting rabies, unless that pet has been vaccinated.

Other critters carry rabies as well: racoons, skunk, foxes, and other cats and dogs. Even an inside pet goes out on occasion, and there is no guarantee that your precious friend will not be bitten.

If your pet is exposed to a potentially rabid animal and does not have a current vaccination, then Animal Services will be required to quarantine your animal at the shelter. If they are current on their rabies vaccination, then Animal Services may authorize the quarantine at your home, where your pet will be more comfortable.

Check with your veterinarian and ensure that your furry family members are vaccinated.

Do you have a community question?
Submit your question to proberts@syracuseut.com.

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