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By John Ballard
Published: October 25, 2011

An unfortunate incident at one of our sister hospitals has incited us to change our policy regarding waivers for unvaccinated pets. A technician was bitten by an unvaccinated pet that was presented for euthanasia. State regulations require quarantine for 10 days and/or euthanasia of the pet and its head submitted for rabies testing. Obviously either of these options causes undue hardship.
Given that rabies is a fatal disease that can be spread from animals to humans, the protection of people handling unvaccinated pets is taken very seriously. We have been very fortunate in Washington to have very low incidence of rabies. This has been maintained by the strict enforcement of state laws demanding vaccination of all dogs and cats. The cases that have been reported have been attributable to bats, often found in peoples’ home. This means that even indoor cats and pets with limited exposure to other animals are also at risk.
As of June 1, 2011 we will require current rabies vaccination status for all of our patients for continued care and boarding at VCA Redwood Animal Hospital. The safety and well being of our patients, our clients and our staff must take precedence over exclusion from vaccination.
Please schedule an appointment for your pet if rabies vaccination is overdue.