Rabies Prevention

Animal Services works with the Health Officer, veterinarians, and the entire community to help prevent the spread of rabies in Sonoma County. In 2019, Sonoma County recorded seven cases of rabies distributed among species as follows: five bats and two dogs. Rabies is a very serious disease that is almost always fatal to humans and domestic animals if not treated before symptoms appear.

  • Cats are required by law to be vaccinated annually against rabies in Sonoma County.
  • State and local laws require dogs over four months of age to be vaccinated against rabies. The initial vaccination is good for one year. After that, rabies vaccinations are needed every three years.

What You Can Do

It's up to all of us to prevent rabies. Here's what you can do:

Vaccinate all domestic dogs and cats. It's the single most important step you can take to prevent rabies, and it's required by law for all dogs and cats age four months and older.

Never handle wildlife and teach your children to admire wild animals from a distance.

Get vaccinated against rabies. If you work with domestic or wild animals or in situations in which you might be exposed to wildlife (especially bats), consider getting vaccinated.

Report exposure or potential exposure to rabies:

  • If you have been bitten by an animal or think you have been exposed to rabies, call the County of Sonoma Disease Control Unit at (707) 565-4567.
  • If your pet has been bitten by an animal or think they have been exposed to rabies, call Sonoma County Animal Services at (707) 565-7100.
  • If you suspect a wild animal has rabies, call Sonoma County Animal Services at (707) 565-7100.

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