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Pet Licensing & Vaccinations
An animal may not be adopted from BARC without a rabies vaccination. Licensing is required by law in Houston and a rabies vaccination is required to get a valid license. Licensing prevents the spread of rabies, which is a constant health threat. Annual vaccinations keep your pet healthy. Licensing also allows BARC animal officers to return your lost pet safely to you. Read more about pet licensing in the City of Houston here.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system. The virus can infect animals, which in turn, can transmit the virus to people by biting or scratching.
Rabies is fatal to both animals and humans. A person who has been infected with the virus, but who has not yet developed symptoms, may be treated. There is no treatment once an animal or person exhibits symptoms.
What animals get Rabies?
All warm-blooded mammals including humans are susceptible to rabies. In Texas, rabies is present in many wild animal populations, especially skunks, bats, coyotes and foxes. Domestic dogs, cats and livestock usually acquire rabies from wild animals. Rodents such as rats and squirrels are not infected in Texas. Read more about wild animals here.
BARC and Rabies control:
The State of Texas closely regulates the enforcement of laws preventing rabies. BARC is the state's designated Rabies Control authority for Houston. If an animal bites, scratches or attacks humans, it must be quarantined for ten days for rabies observation, even though it may have been vaccinated.
Your Vet and Rabies control:
Only a Texas licensed veterinarian may vaccinate your pet against rabies and give other shots to protect your pet from diseases. Visiting a veterinarian each year is one way to make certain your pet stays healthy.
State Quarantine - Important travel information:
In 1995, the State of Texas issued a quarantine for all domestic dogs and cats. If you travel with your dog or cat, proof of current rabies vaccination must be with you. You can obtain an approved travel certificate for your pet from your local veterinarian.