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Question on Rabies Regulations by County

G. Festerling

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We live in a Tri County area. Essentially I am less than a mile from two county lines. The county I live in is a one year rabies county. The two adjoining counties are 3 year. My vet that I use for rabies vaccines is in a 3 year county yet I reside in the 1 year county.

The state is a 3 years state but by talking to them the individual counties can adopt their own regulations as long as they are not less stringent than the states.

So, if I keep using my vet for the 3 year vaccines is there a potential to get in trouble if something were to happen in the county I reside in?

No, nothing has and I pray it doesn't. And yes, I just found this out as it never had crossed my mind before. I just assumed that the state trumped county.

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Your best bet would probably be to ask the officials in your county. I doubt many people here would be able to give you an informed decision, since most of us will live elsewhere. ;)


But, to respond to your question as it's worded, sure there's "potential" to "get into trouble" in your county if you're not adhering to their regulations.


If I lived there, I'd be working to have the law changed to reflect 21st Century practice, which even at 3 year intervals is rather behind the times.


ETA: If you're in a tri-county area where county laws vary, I'd think it reasonable that your vet should carry vaccines appropriate to the various counties where her or his clients reside.

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Do you mean the officials in your county, or the officials in the three counties?


It doesn't matter if they officials in all three counties agree (and obviously they don't).


What matters is what the officials in the county you live in say. If they don't agree, then I'd press them for a consistent answer . . . and, as I said, push for more up to date regulations to begin with.

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Dear Doggers,


What matters (or, rather, what could matter) is what county your dogs might encounter a suspected rabies animal (and, often, any wild animal which bites and escapes is - not unreasonably - deemed rabid.) Regs may vary from state to state but in Virginia the wild animal bit dog is put down and decapitated for necropsy - UNLESS the dog's rabie's innoculation is current.


T'were it me, I'd call the public health officer in each county and learn their practice and opinion. T'were it me I'd innoculate my dogs often enough so they couldn't get their heads cut off.


I know there are people who resist inoculations but I've never known or heard of a dog suffering from a rabies jab and I have known dogs that got bit and met the headsman.


Donald McCaig

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