The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received reports of an increasing number of dogs with questionable documentation of prior rabies vaccination. The dogs are being imported into the United States from rabies-endemic countries.
- are sold online by independent sellers or in pet stores.
- are adopted through both U.S. and international sources.
- may be purebred, hybrid, or mixed breeds; distributors may claim to have or may even provide breed registration papers.
- may be incorrectly identified as having been born and raised in the United States.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, municipal and county rabies vaccination ordinances cover only 45.4 percent of the dogs, 37.75 percent of the cats, and 23.1 percent of the ferrets in Ohio.
Ohio is one of only a few states in the country and the only state east of the Mississippi that does not have a statewide requirement for dogs to be vaccinated for rabies. Efforts to change this in the past by obtaining a statewide rabies vaccination requirement in Ohio have failed, most recently in 2008 when last-minute objections by the National Rifle Association scuttled the bill.
While local ordinances mandating rabies vaccinations can be adopted in Ohio’s communities, the ODH data demonstrate that a significant portion of Ohio’s pet populations remain outside the scope of a rabies vaccination requirement. OVMA continues to seek a state legislative solution to this public and animal health problem.