Monday, September 25, 2023

Do Animal Shelters Give Vaccinations

Animal Shelter Rabies Questions

City Health Department Offers Free Rabies Vaccines To Dogs

A few questions were sent in by a reader regarding a recent post about rabies in a Texas animal shelter. Theyre good ones so I thought Id cover them here.

Im a little confused by this. Werent these shelter dogs vaccinated?

  • Probably not. Many shelters dont vaccinate against rabies. There are a few reasons for this:
  • One reason is cost. From a shelter standpoint, rabies vaccination may even be considered of less importance compared to vaccination against diseases that are more common causes of illness in shelters .
  • A big reason is that in most regions, rabies vaccines must be given by a veterinarian, and many shelters dont have much veterinary involvement.
  • Another consideration is that even if animals are vaccinated in the shelter, they are not considered protected until 28 days after vaccination.
  • Yet another thing to consider is whether vaccination would have changed anything. Vaccinated dogs would still require a 45 day observation period. Thats much easier than a 6 month quarantine but still problematic and could lead to euthanasia for logistical reasons.
  • How exactly were these dogs exposed?

    • Good question. It depends how the shelter was run and whether dogs were mixed together or socialized in groups. Sometimes, all dogs end up being considered exposed unless shelter personnel can definitively state that they know a particular dog didnt have contact with the rabid dog. Its often hard to say that with confidence, so by default they consider all dogs exposed.

    Table : Vaccines Recommended At The Time Of Release

    Rabies virus

    1-Yr & 3-Yr labeled rabies vaccines are available.

    Administer by the subcutaneous or intramuscular route .

    For state-specific information on Rabies immunization and law, .

    Dogs 20 Weeks of Age at the Time of Release

    A single dose of rabies vaccine should be administered.

    Most, but not all, states allow discretion in the use of a 1-Yr or a 3-Yr labeled rabies vaccine when administering the initial dose.


    The next dose of rabies vaccine should be administered no later than 1 yr from the date the INITIAL DOSE was administered.

    NOTE: Some states specify a defined time during which the second dose of rabies vaccine must be administered.

    NOTE: Some states and some jurisdictions within states do NOT recognize a 1-Yr labeled Rabies Vaccine in which case a 3-Yr labeled vaccine must be administered for the dog to be considered currently vaccinated.


    Although some states and most Canadian provinces do not have a rabies vaccination requirement/law for dogs , rabies vaccination is recommended as a CORE vaccine in all states and provinces.

    Many states do NOT permit veterinarians to exempt the requirement for rabies vaccination even in dogs having medical contraindications to vaccination.

    NOTE: Authority to administer rabies vaccine to shelter-housed dogs is often stipulated in state or local law and may NOT be at the discretion of shelter personnel .

    For state-specific information on Rabies immunization and law, .

    Interim Guidelines For Animal Health And Control Of Disease Transmission In Pet Shelters

    These Interim Guidelines have been developed by consultation between the American Veterinary Medical Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are advisory in nature. They are intended to provide guidance for the care of animals entering shelters and for persons working with or handling the animals in response to natural disasters.

    Animals arriving at shelters as a result of a natural disaster need special care. Because they may have been exposed to contaminated water and may not have had access to safe food and fresh water, many are stressed and dehydrated and some may be injured and/or ill. Stressed animals may or may not show signs of illness and may also exhibit behavioral disorders. Following some simple animal management and disease control guidelines can help improve animal health and reduce the risk of disease transmission and injury between animals and people.

    What follows are some recommendations for pets arriving at animal shelters.

    Intestinal Parasitism
    • Dogs should be treated prophylactically for internal parasites including Giardia , roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.
    • Exposure to mosquitoes in flood-ravaged areas presents an increased risk of heartworm disease. If possible, dogs should be tested for heartworms and appropriate preventatives or treatment administered.
    External Parasitism
    Diarrheal Disease
    Ill Birds
    Behavioral Concerns
    Cleaning and Disposal

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    Please Note These Clinic Reminders:

    • Cost is $20 per pet, cash and check only.
    • Dogs, cats, and ferrets may be vaccinated at the clinics.
    • Dogs must be on fixed leashes cats and ferrets must be in carriers.
    • You must reserve a day/time slot first, and then you will receive an email with a registration form prior to your selected clinic date. The form must be returned to the Shelter via email within 48 hours to hold your appointment slot, along with your pets’ most recent rabies certificate if you wish to receive a 3-year vaccine. After we have received your registration form you will get a confirmation email.
    • All pets will receive a 1-year rabies vaccination. To obtain a 3-year vaccine, please provide your pet’s rabies certificate showing the current rabies vaccination expiration date.
    • 2021 county dog license applications and addressed envelopes will be provided to dog owners, so the application and fee can be mailed to DTA.

    Risks Associated With Vaccination

    Community Cats

    Immunizations should mildly stimulate the animals immune system in order to create protection from specific infectious diseases. This stimulation can create mild symptoms, ranging from soreness at the injection site to fever and allergic reactions.

    There are other, less common side effects like injection site tumors and immune disease associated with vaccination. That said, it is important to realize that vaccines have saved countless lives, and play a vital role in the battle against infectious diseases. As with any medical procedure, there is a small chance of side effects. In most cases, the risks are much smaller than the risks of disease itself. But it is important to talk to your veterinarian about your pets medical history before he is vaccinated.

    Most pets show no ill effect from vaccination. Vaccine reactions may be minor and short-lived or require immediate care from a veterinarian. Clinical signs include:

    • Fever
    • Pain, swelling, redness, scabbing or hair loss around the injection site
    • Lameness
    • Seizures
    • Lameness

    It is best to schedule your pets appointment so that you can monitor him for any side effects following administration of the vaccine. If you suspect your pet is having a reaction to a vaccine, call your veterinarian immediately.

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    How Much Do Dog Vaccinations Cost

    Vaccines are recommended by veterinarians based on a pups breed, age, health, lifestyle and medical history, as well as whether your dog lives or travels to states known for specific diseases. The price of inoculations will, therefore, depend on which core and non-core shots are required.

    Most shelter and rescue groups include vaccinations in their adoption fee so that a newly adopted dog or puppy is ready to get off to a healthy start in their new home. Below is an estimate of dog vaccination costs to give you an idea of what to expect when discussing your puppy shot schedule with your veterinarian.

  • Vaccines and routine care 1st year: $100-$350 | Annual cost: $80-$250
  • Heartworm tests 1st year: $0-$35 | Annual cost: $0-$35
  • Heartworm prevention 1st year: $24-$120 | Annual cost: $36-$132
  • Flea and tick prevention 1st year: $40-$200 | Annual cost: $40-$200
  • Distemper vaccination 1st year: $20-$30 | Annual cost: $40-$60
  • Rabies vaccination 1st year: $15-$25
  • Deworming 1st year: $20-$50 | Annual cost: $80-$200
  • Table : Vaccines Recommended On Intake

    MLV or Recombinant Canine Distemper Virus, Adenovirus-2 and Parvovirus

    B. bronchiseptica + canine parainfluenza virus


    B. bronchiseptica + canine parainfluenza virus

    B. bronchiseptica CPiV

    Administer by the intranasal route.

    OPTION: some IN products may also contain CAV-2 vaccine.

    Initial Vaccination

    At the time of intake, administer a single intranasal dose. Vaccines licensed for intranasal use may be administered as early as 3 to 4 wk of age.

    Initial Vaccination

    At the time of intake, administer a single IN dose.


    Where risk of exposure is sustained, administer a single dose every 1 yr.


    Onset of protective immunity has been shown to be as early as 48 to 72 hr following administration of a single intranasal dose.

    The duration of immunity to B. bronchiseptica based on challenge studies is 12 to 14 mo following administration of a single intranasal dose.

    The duration of immunity to parainfluenza virus is expected to exceed 1 yr following administration of a single intranasal dose.


    Rabies virus

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    Prioritisation Of Potential Vaccines

    Pets has grown at a fast rate over time as owners are concerned for their companion animals’ health. In contrast farmed animal vaccines generally only produced when there is a zoonotic disease or it had a significant effect on international trade. Rather than producing for the sole reason of caring for the animal such as with pets, farmed animals are vaccinated for human safety and economic means.

    This clearly links to pharmacovigilance . The largest database being the Veterinary Medicines Directorate in the UK. Although, the vast majority reported were in terms of companion animals.

    There is no standard metric for quantifying the global burden of animal diseases, no standard method for determining the cost effectiveness of a certain animal vaccine, and no cost-effectiveness thresholds in general. Thus, it can be difficult to prioritise animal vaccine development.

    Regulation Of Animal Vaccines Compared To Human Vaccines

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    The development of animal vaccines has less regulatory requirements than human vaccines. This has resulted in less time and money involved in the creation and production of animal vaccines. The human vaccine development process generally takes 10 to 15 years, whereas the animal vaccine process only takes an average 5 to 7 years to produce. Albeit, the ability to prioritise potential vaccine targets and the use of studies to test safety is less in the animal vaccine production compared to human vaccines.

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    Vaccinations For Your Pet

    Vaccines help prevent many illnesses that affect pets. Vaccinating your pet has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help him live a long, healthy life. Not only are there different vaccines for different diseases, there are different types and combinations of vaccines. Vaccination is a procedure that has risks and benefits that must be weighed for every pet relative to his lifestyle and health. Your veterinarian can determine a vaccination regime that will provide the safest and best protection for your individual animal.

    Vaccination & Microchip Clinics

    Please note due to COVID-19 our Vaccination & Microchip have been changed. Clinics are subjected to be cancelled based on COVID-19 guidelines.

    Our low-cost vaccination & microchip clinics will be held the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 9:00-10:50 am and on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 6:00-7:50 pm at our Coyote Point shelter located at 12 Airport Blvd in San Mateo and by APPOINTMENT ONLY.

    For more information please call Rogelio Nicolas at 650-340-7022 ext. 332.

    Our low-cost vaccination & microchip clinic provides vaccinations for rabies, canine distemper, FVRCP and DHPP. It is available by appointment only and for cats and dogs of all ages. To register for a vaccination & microchip clinic please fill out the form found here:

    Microchips are available for $30 at our vaccine and microchip clinic. You can also bring your animal to our Coyote Point shelter at 12 Airport Blvd in San Mateo anytime during our open hours to be microchipped for a fee of $30. Our Coyote Point shelter is open Monday-Friday 11 am to 7 pm and 11 am to 6 pm on the weekends.

    Dog and cat licenses will also be available for purchase at our clinics.

    Dates of the Vaccination ClinicSignups will open at 12:00 pm on the dates listed below

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    Pet Health Corner: What Vaccinations Does Your Pet Need

    byEmily Cook|General Pet Care|January 19, 2018

    Youve just got a new pet congratulations! But what vaccinations do you need to give them to make sure they stay healthy?

    Our friends at the ASPCA have some great tips about just this. Check out some of them here and get all the information on their website.

    What are vaccines, and does my pet need them?

    The ASPCA says vaccines prepare the bodys immune system against the invasion of disease-causing organisms.

    If a pet is ever exposed to the real disease, his immune system is now prepared to recognize and fight it off entirely or reduce the severity of the illness, ASPCA fact sheet.

    For your pet, the ASPCA says vaccines are very important, but that not every pet needs to be vaccinated for every disease. As a responsible pet owner, you need to discuss with your veterinarian what vaccines they recommend for your pet.

    Some factors the ASPCA says to take into account include, age, medical history, environment, travel habits and lifestyle. The ASPCA also says most vets will highly recommend administering the following core vaccines to healthy pets.

    Do Rescue Animals Get Vaccinated

    Adjustable Syringe Animal Rescue Semi Automatic Metal 50Ml ...

    If you get a dog or cat from an animal shelter, will it have the necessary vaccinations taken by the shelter, or is there a chance you will have to pay for and organise these yourself?

    On the one hand, I know that animal shelters are often strapped for cash on the other, I imagine that keeping a large number of animals in close proximity makes it more pressing to get a vaccine.

    More specifically, your new pet will have received all vaccines that are due. If you adopt a young animal there may be vaccines that can’t be given yet for example, one of the vaccines that kittens get has to be given in three doses spread over several weeks. If you were to adopt a kitten before that course is complete , you would have to complete the cycle. I’ve been told that puppies have vaccines due around 5-6 months. Other animals may also have post-adoption first-year vaccine needs, and you would be responsible for those.

    The shelter will go over all known medical history at the time of adoption, including what vaccines the shelter administered and when. You’ll need to pass those records on to your vet so that future vaccines are given on schedule. If there were to be anything that will be due soon, that the shelter didn’t administer, I would expect them to tell you that.

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    Reduce Your Risk Of Exposure To The Rabies Virus

    • Get your pets vaccinated against rabies, and keep current on their revaccinations.
    • Stay away from wildlife, and keep children and pets away from wildlife.
    • Always walk your dogs on a leash to keep them from running after wildlife.
    • Deter wildlife from coming into your yard by eliminating possible food sources and keeping trash can lids tightly closed.
    • Do not keep wild animals as pets!
    • Report any strange behavior by wildlife or any bites by wildlife to the Animal Protection Police by calling 703-691-2131.
    • If you are bitten by a wild animal or stray dog or cat, wash the wound immediately, seek medical attention, and report the incident to Animal Protection Police by calling 703-691-2131.
    • Rabies is a deadly virus spread through saliva, and most often transmitted through bites by an infected animal. There is no cure for rabies. You can protect your pet against this virus by having them vaccinated against rabies, and Virginia state law and Fairfax County ordinances requires that dogs and cats four months of age and older be vaccinated against rabies.

    What Is Microchip Identification

    A microchip ID is a small chip, the size of a piece of rice, injected into the fleshy area between your pets shoulder blades. This chip contains an identification number unique to you and your pet. Shelters and veterinarian offices are armed with scanners that will show your pets ID number when scanned and return him home quickly and safely. As of August 17, 1998 all cats and dogs purchased or adopted in Miami-Dade must be microchipped.

    Equip your dog or cat with a microchip at the Humane Society for only $25.00. Microchip with spay/neuter surgery is only $20.

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    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Card Discount Program

    Take advantage of a special discounted partner program at our vaccination clinic. See the $20 Pet Care Packages flier for more details. Discount available for Denver County residents only.

    • You do not have to be a resident of the City and County of Denver to receive a vaccination for your pet. If you are a resident of the City and County of Denver, a dog or cat license is included with the cost of the vaccination.
    • We do not vaccinate Pit Bull breeds or any dog mixed with a Pit Bull breed, even if you reside in another county.

    Vaccine Storage & Handling

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    Most of the vaccine products used in animal shelters and veterinary hospitals are made up of living, infectious organisms . As such, they are extremely sensitive to both extreme temperatures and fluctuations in temperature.When a vaccine shipment arrives at the shelter, it should be unloaded as soon as possible and inspected to be sure the shipping container is intact, the product packaging is sealed and the ice packs are cold. If any of these things are not in place, the vaccines may be compromised and should not be used. The distributor should be contacted immediately and, in most cases, will send a replacement shipment at no cost to the shelter.

    Once unloaded, vaccines should be stored in a refrigerator maintained at 35-45°F . Temperatures higher or lower than this range can result in the death of the living vaccine organisms, leaving the product ineffective.A refrigerator thermometer should be placed in each location where vaccines are stored to ensure the appropriate temperatures are being maintained. Temperature monitoring is especially critical in warm environments and busy shelters when the refrigerator is constantly opened and closed to access the vaccine products. A system for recording the temperature of the refrigerator at different time points throughout the day will help keep track of fluctuations and allow refrigerator settings to be adjusted to maintain a temperature within the desired range.

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