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If you love your pets, have them vaccinated

Staff Report • Sep 27, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Saturday is World Rabies Day — a time to call attention to the serious public health and safety risks posed by unvaccinated pets. Dr. George Fenwick, the president of the American Bird Conservancy, says cat owners should pay particular heed to that message.Fenwick notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported the number of annual rabies cases involving cats has increased and now surpasses dogs by a ratio of 4 to 1.Many pet owners say they love their animals, but a few don’t show it like they should. You can demonstrate your true devotion to your cats and dogs by having them vaccinated against rabies.Having your animals vaccinated against rabies is more than an important part of being a responsible pet owner — it’s the law. Tennessee requires that all pets older than 12 weeks be vaccinated against rabies every year.Rabies is most commonly found in raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. The raccoon strain is generally considered to be the most dangerous because raccoons are more likely than other rabies carriers to come in contact with people and their pets.And having your dog or cat spayed or neutered is a true sign of both affection and responsibility. Spaying or neutering household pets is essential for lowering the population of stray and abandoned animals that end up in local shelters.

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