Dogs and Rabies
Despite the dramatic reduction of rabies cases in humans and domestic animals over the last three decades, rabies prevention remains a major public health concern in Pennsylvania.
The Commonwealth, in recent years, has confirmed many rabid raccoons, among other wild animals, that have endangered humans and domestic animals both. In order to safeguard the public's health and that of our domestic animals, the Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act was passed in 1986.
Prevention of human exposure to rabies can best be accomplished through routine rabies vaccinations of domestic pets, which then act as a buffer between people and the wild animal reservoir of rabies. Other important measures include control of stray animals, not keeping wild animals as pets, and education of the general public concerning rabies.
The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, through the work of State Dog Wardens, plays a critical role in rabies control in the Commonwealth by enforcing rabies vaccination requirements in dogs and domestic cats, picking up stray dogs, thus decreasing exposure of these dogs to rabid animals, and educating the public in general about rabies and the importance of rabies vaccination.
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