Protect Your Pet From Rabies

The Central Dakota Humane Society was contacted regarding a stray dog who was hanging around a farmstead in a small community close to Bismarck. The caller indicated the dog had been there for several days and seemed exceptionally good natured. Fortunately we had the kennel space to take this wayward boy in. We named him Zed and placed him in a kennel to wait out the normal seven-day quarantine period.

The day after his arrival, the woman who brought him to our shelter called to say that her neighbor had seen Zed in an altercation with a skunk. She was wise to report this new information to our facility! We contacted our veterinarian who immediately placed Zed under a strict rabies quarantine. Zed was observed very closely (and cautiously) during this time and, fortunately for all, no sign of this deadly disease ever manifested itself.

We all breathed a sigh of relief! Rabies, while quite serious, is only one of the perils that cats and dogs encounter when left on their own to survive. Please do all you can to protect your animals and other people from this deadly virus. Rabies vaccinations are inexpensive and can save the life of pets and people! Our posting of the following information was prompted by Zed's experience.

According to the North Dakota Department of Health, the following steps can help protect your pet from rabies:

  • Take your pet to a veterinarian on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all cats, ferrets and dogs.
  • Maintain control of your pet by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision or in a fenced enclosure. Animals that are allowed to roam outdoors are at a greater risk of exposure to rabid animals.
  • Spay or neuter your pet to help reduce the number of unwanted and unvaccinated animals.
  • If you live on a farm or in a rural setting, keep your dog's vaccination status current. Keep your dog indoors (or in a kennel or barn) at night or when you are away from the premises.
  • Take measures to keep wild animals out of barns or other buildings where a pet is kept.

Vaccinating your pet protects it from becoming infected with rabies and, consequently, dying or having to be destroyed. Vaccinating also helps to prevent human exposure to rabies. The cost to treat one person exposed to a rabid animal can exceed $1,500. Vaccinating pets is relatively inexpensive in comparison.

Information Source: North Dakota Department of Health