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D2003-30

Dear Daisy Dog

My neighbor’s dog broke his tie-out chain, ran across the road and bit my son, who was playing at a friend’s house.

My neighbor says her dog was vaccinated for rabies. Does that mean I don’t have to worry about my son contracting rabies?

Daisy Responds


Ask to see the dog’s rabies certificate to be sure the vaccination is current. Rabies vaccinations must be repeated every one, two or three years, depending on the vaccine and the dog’s age.

If the vaccination is current, your son probably won’t get rabies. But to be on the safe side, the dog should be quarantined for two weeks, because rabid animals can transmit rabies through their saliva 13 days before they show signs of the disease.

Your son should also see his physician.

I would never consider biting anyone, and on behalf of most of the country’s dogs who share my views, I recommend that you call the police or dog warden to report this canine criminal. Many states require you to report dog bites.

Pennsylvania law stipulates that a dog that attacks a human without provocation – or kills or severely injures a domestic animal without provocation while off the dog’s property – can be declared a dangerous dog.

Such a dog must be housed in a secure enclosure and leashed and muzzled when outside the enclosure or house. The dog’s guardian must pay a $200 fee and maintain a $50,000 policy in the event of injury in the future.

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