Annual rabies verification program to begin next month

Published 9:30 am Thursday, October 25, 2012

There will be a Rabies Vaccination Verification Program starting in Lowndes County around Nov. 1.

Alabama Code 3-7A-1 ET.SEQ requires that all dogs and cats three (3) months of age be vaccinated against rabies yearly (365 days year to date).

The law also requires that the owner must be able to provide proof of vaccination signed by a licensed veterinarian.

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Under the law, a stray dog or cat fed, harbored or otherwise permitted to remain on private property is considered to belong to the property owner or leaseholder and that person is responsible for obtaining vaccination of the animal.

The deputies will go door to door throughout all cities, townships, and rural areas and will wear white shirts and blue pants with ID badges.  A Notice of Program Compliance will be left at homes when they are unable to speak directly with someone and will issue Citations as circumstances and evidence dictate.

If you do not have your animals properly vaccinated when you are checked, you will have to play the penalty and get your animals properly vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian.

This should be done within seven days, according to state law.  Those pet owners who are in violation of this law will be fined a $20 citation penalty for the animal plus the cost of the vaccination fee.

Those failing to comply with the law will have deposition summons issued and a court date will be set.

The court costs and penalties (including the original penalty) could cost up to $500 and/or six months in jail.

The public is requested to have their rabies vaccination certificate posted on or around their front door in plain view so the Deputy Rabies Inspector can move on to the next house if they are in compliance with the law.