Rabies Certificates = Get out of Jail Card



katya clover

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Rabies certificateI wanted to take the time to explain to our dog clients why it is so important for us & you to have copies of your dog’s current rabies certificates on hand & available. That rabies certificate is you dogs’s get out of jail card! NOTHING ELSE!! This may be lengthy but PLEASE READ IT. It will save you time & money in the future!!

Having worked in the veterinary field & my team have seen first hand what happens when their is an accusation of a dog bite. It’s not fun!

ANYBODY can make an accusation of a dog bite. Doesn’t matter if it is true or not.
The moment its reported to a hospital, doctor or police the matter is taken VERY Seriously.

If we are caring for your dog & you dog bites us, if medical attention is needed it will end up getting reported. Hospitals and doctors are required by law to report dog bites.

We’ve seen it happen TRUST ME – a person walks by you on the street or by your house & accuses your dog of biting them or child. The minute its reported the matter becomes serious.

So what happens when a dog bite is reported?

You have to have a copy of you dogs CURRENT rabies certificate. NOT the rabies tag, not the printed out receipt from your vet showing the vaccination dates at the bottom. ONLY THE RABIES CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY A LICENSED VETERINARIAN

When a dog bite is reported you will be instructed to take your dog to a licensed veterinarian immediately for a “Rabies Observation” appointment.
Then one of 2 scenarios happens depending on if you have the current rabies certificate…………Rabies Certificate

1) You DO have the Rabies certificate – your dog is examined by the vet. You are charged an exam fee. And you have to schedule 2 more “Rabies Observation ” appointments. Once you have completed these appointments documentation is sent in documenting you dogs attended these appointments & has show proof of a current rabies vaccination.

2) You DO NOT have the rabies certificate – you dog is impounded by the vet for rabies observation for a period of 2-3 weeks. You pay the daily kennel/boarding fees, fines, and the cost of vaccinating your dog at the end of the observation period.

We have seen working in the veterinary clinics, pet sitters having to bring in dogs for rabies observation with no current rabies certificate or expired vaccinations and the dog is impounded until the owner returns. NOT FUN!!


If a dog bite accusation is made when your vet is closed. You or we may have to take your dog to the local ER or another veterinary clinic for that Rabies Observation appointment. They will not have your dogs rabies certificate on file.

The ONLY thing that gets your dog back home is that Rabies Certificate.

The state of IL takes current rabies vaccinations & documentation very seriously.

I was at my vet a couple months ago on a weekday evening & a woman was in there with her little dog for a Rabies Observation appointment. This was not her regular vet – she had previously taken her dog to a Petco vaccination clinic. She was not taking the matter seriously at all. She was more concerned about being late getting her son to soccer practice. The receptionist asked her for a copy of the rabies certificate – the dog owner stated she had forgotten it at home. She offered to go home & get it or send it to them. At this point its 5:30pm and the vet is getting ready to close & we all know what rush hour is like. The receptionist replied “That’s fine but your dog stays here with us.” The woman was shocked & couldn’t understand why. It was explained to her “Your dog has been accused of biting somebody. You do not have proof of a current rabies vaccination. Until you submit proof your dog will have to stay with us under quarantine for the observation period”. I don’t know what the outcome was but it was a scenario I had seen before.

Do you know where your dogs current rabies certificate is right now if you had to get it?

When you go to your vet & get the vaccinations done ask for a 2nd SIGNED copy. Then put it in your purple Shannon’s Pet Sitting folder when you get home.

You can call your vet and ask them to fax, mail or maybe even email you a copy of your dogs current rabies certificate.

We don’t want to see your dogs impounded. Please leave us current copies of your dogs rabies certificates. 🙂

About the Author: Shannon's Pet-Sitting