Discussion: Good or bad for state dog wardens to conduct dog license and rabies vaccination checks (including cats) in 23 Pennsylvania counties

A program aimed to raise awareness of the importance of following state law of having your dog or cat up to date on a yearly license (dogs only) as well as being vaccinated against rabies (dogs and cats) between April and May/June 2019 in 23 counties in Pennsylvania.

Dog wardens to check PA pets (WTAE)
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture made the announcement recently when Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding stated during an interview with Pittsburgh’s Action News

“If your dog gets lost, a license is the best way to ensure that anyone who finds them knows where they live.  A rabies vaccination and a license are very small investments in protecting your pet, your family, your community and your peace of mind.”

State dog wardens will do home checks but will not enter the home if a person doesn’t come to the door and will leave a written notice instead.

Pennsylvania law requires all dogs and non-feral cats age three months and older must be vaccinated by January 1. Some rabies vaccines cover a longer period of up to five years There’s a fine of $300 per violation plus court costs for noncompliance.

I found an older article on the Pennsylvania law on vaccines that’s worth a read. Below are some key points. A comment was made on the article that titer testing wasn’t allowed for the state but that could have changed by now.

  • A veterinarian can now exempt a dog or cat from receiving a rabies vaccination if he or she has examined the animal and determines it would be medically inadvisable to give the rabies vaccine. The veterinarian must write a letter explaining why the animal must not get a rabies shot, and the letter is good for one year. Note that this animal is considered unvaccinated and cannot be boarded in a licensed kennel, and also would have to undergo a 6-month quarantine if exposed to rabies.
  • Licensed veterinarians must give the rabies vaccine. If the licensed veterinarian is on the premises, he or she may give oral or written instructions to a certified veterinary technician to administer the rabies vaccine.
    The law states that veterinarians must give you a Certificate of Vaccination and a metal rabies tag bearing the year of vaccination.
  • The owner of a dog or cat must show proof of rabies vaccination or the medical exemption letter within 48 hours after a dog warden, police officer, or other designated animal control officer requests the proof.

“Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Warden” in a keystone with a state seal will be on the warden’s vehicle as well as the uniform. Dog warden’s wear a badge and state identification. Note: Be sure to check the identification because there have been several cases over the years where fake wardens try to gain entry to a home for illegal purposes.

The cost of the yearly rabies vaccine is $6.50 for each spayed or neutered dog or cat and $8.50 for others. Both fees are discounted $2 for older adults and persons with disabilities.

What issues do the readers here see with this door-to-door check? Please go into detail in the Facebook comment section or the moderated comment section below. I want to hear the good and the bad.

Below are some articles by Michael related to titer testing and the rabies vaccine

Titers tell you if your cat needs a vaccination

Rabies vaccination: the law in conflict with veterinarian’s hippocratic oath

Source 1 

Source 2

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