IMPORTANT: Please tell your veterinarians if your state permits exemptions. Many of them don’t know! And insist they apply for an exemption for your unhealthy dog. Sadly, few will volunteer. Kris says: We weren’t involved in any legislation in Illinois; the exemption language was in another section of the law — kind of like Massachusetts. A woman from the Illinois Cocker Rescue sent me the link & information. Obviously very few people were aware of it.
Other articles of interest: Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions for Unhealthy Dogs
Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure
Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely
What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction
Why Vets Don’t Recognize Vaccine Reactions
18 STATES with RABIES MEDICAL EXEMPTIONS
AL, CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, MA, ME, MD, NH, NJ, NV, NY, PA, OR, VT, VA, WI
CALIFORNIA On October 7, 2011, California became the 14th state with a rabies medical exemption when the Governor signed AB 258, Molly’s Bill, into law: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0251-0300/ab_258_bill_20111007_chaptered.html
(b) The State Veterinarian or the Commissioner of Agriculture, or the commissioner’s designee, may grant an exemption from vaccination against rabies for a dog or cat if a licensed veterinarian has examined such animal and determined that a rabies vaccination would endanger the animal’s life due to disease or other medical considerations. Such exemption may be granted for an individual animal only after the veterinarian has consulted with the State Veterinarian, the Commissioner of Agriculture, or the commissioner’s designee, and completed and submitted to the department an application for exemption from rabies vaccination on a form approved by the Department of Agriculture. After approval of such exemption, the department shall issue a rabies vaccination exemption certificate, copies of which shall be provided to the veterinarian, the owner of the dog or cat exempted from rabies vaccination and the animal control officer of the municipality in which the owner of the dog or cat resides. Certification that a dog or cat is exempt from rabies vaccination shall be valid for one year, after which time the animal shall be vaccinated against rabies or the application for exemption shall be renewed.
(c) Any veterinarian aggrieved by a denial of a request for an exemption from rabies vaccination by the State Veterinarian, the Commissioner of Agriculture or the commissioner’s designee may appeal such denial as provided in the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act, sections 4-166 to 4-189, inclusive.
If a licensed veterinarian determines in writing that a rabies inoculation would compromise an animal's health, then the animal shall be exempt from the rabies shot requirement, but the owner must still be responsible for the fees.
Click on Chapter 260
A. A letter of exemption from vaccination may be submitted for licensure, if a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination of the dog. Qualifying letters must be in the form of a written statement, signed by a licensed veterinarian, that includes a description of the dog, and the medical reason that precludes vaccination. If the medical reason is temporary, the letter shall indicate a time of expiration of the exemption.B. A dog exempted under the provisions of paragraph 5 A, above, shall be considered unvaccinated, for the purposes of 10-144 C.M.R. Ch.251, Section 7(B)(1), (Rules Governing Rabies Management) in the case of said dog’s exposure to a confirmed or suspect rabid animal.
§ 137. Registration and licenses A person who at the commencement of a license period is, or who during any license period becomes, the owner or keeper of a dog six months old or over which is not duly licensed, and the owner or keeper of a dog when it becomes six months old during a license period, shall cause it to be registered, numbered, described and licensed until the end of such license period, and the owner or keeper of a dog so registered, numbered, described and licensed during any license period, in order to own or keep such dog after the beginning of the succeeding license period, shall, before the beginning thereof, cause it to be registered, numbered, described and licensed for such period. The registering, numbering, describing and licensing of a dog, if kept in Boston shall be in the office of the police commissioner or if kept in any other town in the office of the clerk thereof.
No town clerk or, in Boston, the police commissioner, shall grant such license for any dog unless the owner thereof provides such town clerk or, in Boston, the police commissioner, either a veterinarian’s certification that such dog has been vaccinated in accordance with the provisions of section one hundred and forty-five B, or has been certified exempt from such provision as hereinafter provided, or a notarized letter from a veterinarian that a certification was issued or a metal rabies tag bearing an expiration date indicating that such certification is still in effect.
A dog licensing official may grant an exemption from the provisions of section one hundred and forty-five B for any dog which has not yet attained the age of six months, any dog which the local board of health, for a specified period of time, declared exempt upon presentation of a veterinarian’s certificate stating that because of an infirmity, other physical condition or regimen of therapy, that inoculation is thereby deemed inadvisable, or any dog in transit, or dog brought into the commonwealth, temporarily, for the sole purpose of showing in dog shows or exhibition.
Source. 1985, 72:1. 1992, 250:3. 1995, 202:4, eff. June 12, 1995. 2007, 79:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2008.
(1) An exemption from vaccination against rabies for a dog or cat under subsection (a) may be granted if a licensed veterinarian examines the dog or cat and determines that it would be medically contraindicated to vaccinate.
(i) the signature of the veterinarian and the veterinarian’s license number; (ii) the date; (iii) the name and address of the veterinarypractice, office or clinic; (iv) an explanation of the medical reason contraindicating vaccination against rabies; and (v) a description of the dog or cat that includes: (A) breed; (B) sex; (C) age; (D) color and markings; (E) whether the dog or cat is intact, neutered or spayed; and (F) the current license number of the dog that includes any permanent identification, if applicable. (vi) The signature of the owner of the dog or cat and the address of the owner. If there is more than one owner, and the owners are living at separate locations where the dog or cat may be housed, the signature and address of both owners is required.
(3) An exemption from vaccination against rabies is valid for a period of up to one calendar year , after which the dog or cat shall be reexamined. At the reexamination, the dog or cat shall either be vaccinated against rabies or, if exemption status still applies, a new certificate of exemption shall be issued.
is inadvisable because of a reaction to a previous vaccination, a physical condition, or a regimen of therapy that the dog is undergoing. The city, village, or town shall require the owner to providea new letter for each year in which the owner seeks an exemption under this paragraph.
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