SF Animal Control Asks Residents To Vaccinate Pets: ‘The chances of recovering from rabies are slim’
Sioux Falls Animal Control wants to remind residents to go to the vet and vaccinate their pets for rabies. They say they’ve had concerns recently about whether pets that have been bitten by wild animals were protected against the disease.
Animal Control Supervisor Julie DeJong said, “As the weather warms up, people are outside more with their pets, they’re taking them outside more for walks, their pets are left outside more in their backyards.”
It’s that time of year when pets are more likely to come into contact with wild animals.
“Wild animals are the main reservoir for rabies in the United States, so it’s very important for people to have their pets vaccinated against rabies,” said DeJong.
It’s also the law. Rabies vaccinations are required for cats and dogs over six months old; even those that never leave the house. Animal Control says the disease is transmitted through the saliva of rabid animals, animals that can find their way inside.
DeJong said, “Approximately 100 bats a year are taken out of people’s houses by animal control and tested for rabies and about 2 to 3 percent of those a year do come up positive for rabies.”
If a pet hasn’t had a vaccination and is bitten by an animal with rabies, tough decisions have to made to prevent the spread.
“It will either have to be quarantined for a period of four months under strict isolation, which means it doesn’t get petted, it doesn’t get walked and it never leaves it’s little cell or it gets euthanized on the spot,” DeJong said.
While in quarantine, Animal Control looks for signs and symptoms of rabies such as behavioral changes, excess salivating, and coordination changes; anything impacted by the brain.
DeJong said, “The chances of recovering from rabies are slim. Once they are diagnosed with rabies, they are probably not going to make it through.”
If a pet does have to be quarantined at the humane society, animal control says there’s a $30 impound fee, and costs $8 a day for the animal to stay there. They say the cost of a rabies shot is far less expensive and traumatic.