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Rabies Vaccinations Protect Your Pet and Are Required in Sioux Falls

In Sioux Falls, rabies vaccinations are required for all cats and dogs over six months of age. Vaccinations can be given at one- or three-year intervals by a licensed veterinarian.

Rabies is a deadly disease that can be transmitted to humans through the saliva of rabid animals. Pets can acquire rabies from the bites of other pets, but most often they acquire the disease from wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, or bats. Even if your cat or dog never leaves your home, it is still in danger from wild animals that may enter your home. Animal Control receives more than a hundred calls each year to remove bats from homes in Sioux Falls. Luckily, only 3 percent of bats tested each year are positive for rabies.

If your pet is behind on its rabies vaccination, or if it has never had a vaccination, and it is bitten by a wild animal, your pet will need to be strictly quarantined for four months. If the wild animal has rabies, it could lead to the death of your pet. Animals can spread the disease before they show any signs of illness. The City of Sioux Falls and state of South Dakota follow the procedures stated in the current Compendium of Animal Rabies Control published by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc.

If you or your pet is bitten by a pet or wild animal, it is important to wash the wound thoroughly, call Animal Control to report the bite, and speak with a physician for further medical advice. Post-exposure rabies shots may be necessary to prevent catching the disease. Animal Control will verify rabies vaccinations in pets, and they may need to attempt to capture the wild animal for disease testing.

To protect your pet and your family, make sure your pet is up to date on its rabies vaccinations. If you have any questions about rabies or need to report an animal bite, please call Animal Control at 367-7000.