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New York State Rabies Laws And Mandatory Vaccination

Rabies is a serious virus of all mammals with no known cure.  It causes neurological degeneration that ultimately leads to the death of the infected person or animal.  Luckily, Rabies can be prevented with vaccination, and New York State requires by law the compulsory vaccination of all domestic dogs, cats and ferrets for the safety of the public.  Compliance with Rabies Vaccination Laws is monitored by the New York State Department Of Health.

Click Here To Read The NYS Department Of Health Law Title IV State Rabies And Animal Control Statutes

As part of their Veterinary Oath, our PetCare Team Members are also responsible for the health and safety of the public, and therefore Suffolk Veterinary Group complies with all aspects of New York State Rabies Vaccination Laws.

We require that all active patients with us maintain up-to-date Rabies Vaccination Certification on file.  We do not mind if your pet receives their Rabies Vaccination elsewhere, simply submit to us a copy of their updated Rabies Vaccination Certificate so we may place it in their medical records.  Even if you decline all other vaccination for your pet, we are still obligated to have your pet vaccinated for Rabies, and failure to do so may result in your pet being dismissed as a patient at our clinic. 

Click Here For Our Rabies Certificate Policy

There are only certain instances of severe medical conditions in a pet that would exempt them from mandatory Rabies Vaccination, only Dr. Winkler can provide certification for such exemption, and a history of their disease must be kept on file and up-to-date in their medical records with frequent examination.

We cannot provide Rabies Vaccination Certification if we did not personally provide such vaccination for your pet, so if you do get your pet’s Rabies Vaccination some place other than Suffolk Veterinary Group, please be sure to get a copy of the Rabies Vaccination Certificate from the provider, and keep it on file with us and at home.  We will not be able to replace lost Rabies Vaccination Certificates if we did not provide vaccination or have a copy of your pet’s certificate on file.

Please, do not ask us to falsify your pet's Rabies Vaccination Certificate to avoid paying fines or penalties should your pet be picked up by animal control officers, and does not have up-to-date Rabies vaccination.  We really enjoy providing quality veterinary care to all our patients, and are willing to work with you and law enforcement officials to the best of our ability should your pet be at the shelter.  Falsifying vaccination certificates to save you a few dollars is against our ethics as veterinary professionals.

Click Here To Read The “What Pet Owners Need To Know About Rabies Vaccinations In New York State” fact sheet required to be disclosed to all pet owners upon purchase or adoption of a new pet

Rabies Vaccination is also a requirement of any pet traveling across state lines, or traveling outside the country, especially to Rabies Free areas such as Hawaii.  Please, check out our “Travel With Pets” page to learn more about the Rabies Vaccination requirements of your destination.

New York State Rabies Laws Require All Owners Of Dogs, Cats, And Ferrets:

1. To get their pet’s first Rabies Vaccine at 4 months of age.  This first time Rabies Vaccination is only good for a duration of 1 year.

2.  To have their pet vaccinated again no later than 1-year after they received their first Rabies Vaccination.  If your pet has had a lapse in Rabies Vaccination, then the vaccine must be given again no later than 1-year after the first vaccine post-lapse, regardless of prior vaccination history.

3.  To maintain their pet’s Rabies Vaccination current on a 1-year or 3-year Rabies Vaccination protocol after their first two vaccinations in accordance with the type of Rabies Vaccine provided at time of vaccination with no lapse in vaccination coverage from year-to-year.

Some Rabies Vaccines are manufactured only for a duration of 1-year efficacy, and this vaccines need to be provided annually.  Other manufacturers produce Rabies Vaccines with a duration of protection for 3-years.  You will need to discuss with your Veterinarian which vaccine protocol is right for your pet, or what vaccine type was provided by any vaccine clinic you have visited with your pet.  Your pet’s Rabies Vaccination Certificate will also verify which type of vaccine was given, and when your pet requires re-vaccination.

4.  To have visible on their pet’s collar a designated “Rabies Tag” signifying vaccination when the pet is out in public.  “Rabies Tags” do not replace the necessity of a Rabies Vaccination Certificate or substitute for a certificate.

5.  To have available at all times for inspection their pet’s veterinary signed Rabies Vaccination Certificate.

Because we understand the importance of providing quality veterinary care and preventing serious public health diseases such as Rabies, we have included Rabies Vaccination in our reduced cost Well-Pet Care program.  Please, visit the Well-Pet Care tab at the top to learn more, or call 631-696-2400.  Thank you for being a responsible pet owner and having your pet vaccinated against Rabies!

For Emergencies Call 631-698-2225

Please note, Suffolk Veterinary Group Animal Wellness & Laser Surgery Center is not a critical care, emergency, or specialty veterinary facility. While we will do our best to see your pet should they require immediate medical attention as our scheduling and staffing allows during our office hours, we reserve the right to refer, transfer, or otherwise redirect patients to a critical care, emergency, or specialty veterinary facility if we deem it is within the patient's best interest to do so. The Suffolk Veterinary Group Same Day Emergency Exam fee if you accept same day appointment scheduling is $82.00 due at time services are rendered, all other treatments, diagnostics, and medications will be in addition and due at time services are rendered. We will be happy to provide estimate upon request.


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Suffolk Veterinary Group Animal Wellness & Laser Surgery Center
856 Middle Country Road
Selden, NY  11784

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