Protecting your pet is one of the primary responsibilities of being a pet owner. A big part of your pet’s protection involves complying with the regulations and ordinances in your area. If a situation arises and it is found that your pet is not up-to-date on something like rabies vaccinations, it could lead to a very costly process for you, a trying situation for your pet, and even the loss of your pet.
In Gwinnett County, all cat and dog owners are required to vaccinate their pets against rabies. In addition, cats and dogs are required to wear collars displaying their rabies tags when they are allowed outside of the home or outside of the owner’s supervision.
When it comes to employing pet sitters and dog walkers, this is an important requirement to know about. When you put your pet into the care of someone else, you should be sure that they know the regulations for your area. You should also show them where your pet’s rabies tags are, if your pet doesn’t wear his collar full time.
In addition to rabies tags, your pet will be issued a certificate showing that they have had their vaccinations. Rabies vaccinations and the relevant certificate and tags can only be issued by a licensed veterinarian. In addition to your copy, your vet will also keep a copy on file. You and your vet should be prepared to produce the rabies vaccination certificate should you be requested to do so by an animal shelter or animal control official. It is important to keep this certificate in an accessible place because it is the certificate, not just the tags, that will prove that your pet is up to date. Your pet sitter should also know where the certificate is or, at the very least, he should know the date of your pet’s last vaccination.
All these precautions are important because they will ease the process if your pet ever bites or is accused of biting someone. Likewise, if your pet ever suffers a bite from another animal, proof of vaccination will be an important component in your pet’s care and handling.
When pet control receives reports of a dog or cat bite, it takes that report seriously and initiates an investigation. If you are aware of an incident (either your pet bit someone or your pet is accused of biting someone) you should call and report the incident and find out the steps and deadlines for complying with the quarantining process. You must be able to produce proof of your pet’s rabies vaccination. This proof must be the certificate. Rabies tags are not enough on their own. If it is verified that your pet is up-to-date on his vaccinations, he will be held in quarantine for 10 days for observation. This could mean confining your pet at the animal control facility, at a pet clinic or hospital, a boarding facility, or in a supervised setting at home with the approval the animal control officer. You will need to notify animal control about where you choose to confine your pet. The purpose of this waiting period is to observe your pet for signs of rabies. You, the owner, will be responsible for the costs of housing for this 10-day period.
The rabies vaccination certificate is also essential to have if your pet is bitten by another animal, especially if that animal could have rabies. In these cases, if proof of vaccination can be given, your pet will be immediately vaccinated again, confined and observed for 45 days. This confinement will most likely take place at home under the direction of the local animal control. You will also probably take your pet in for check-ups and will need to report back your compliance and your animal’s behavior to the vet and the animal control.
If your pet is bitten by a potentially rabid animal and he is not current on his vaccination, or if you are unable to produce proof of vaccination with the certificate, there is a danger of losing your pet to impoundment or euthanization. This can be prevented if the owner, with the animal control officer’s approval, quarantines their pet for 6 months and vaccinates their pet one month before they complete the quarantine.
If you have questions about rabies vaccinations and the process following a bite incident, talk to your veterinarian and call the local animal control or animal shelter for more information. You can also research the laws governing your state, county, city, and neighborhood. The animal laws for Gwinnett County can be found at this link: https://www.municode.com/library/ga/gwinnett_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH10AN
As a professional pet sitter 2 Paws Up Inc has in the policies that pets should be vaccinated as required by law. There may be times when your outside with your pet and you do not know the pet has been bitten or scratched by a rabid animal then comes inside and plays with your other pets. This pet scratches or play bites and you don’t even know it has been exposed your whole family people and pets are at risks. It might be too late before you realize you or someone has rabies. It’s really scary thought so you need to have a conversation with your veterinarian. If you are new to the area and need a veterinarian to update your vaccinations, give Jackie our pet friendly manager, aka Director of Operations at 770-695-3096 we will be happy to refer our vet Snellville Animal Hospital or other wonderful veterinarians in the area. All of us at 2 Paws Up Inc look forward to a long and helpful relationship with you.