Dog vaccine

County offers free rabies vaccine with purchase of dog license – The Oakland Press

Throughout April, dog owners who purchase a license for their four-legged friends at the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center can also ensure their dogs are vaccinated against rabies, free of charge.

Bob Gatt, director of the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Animal Adoption Center and retired Novi police officer, estimates that only one in four or five dog owners have obtained dog licenses.

Some people think they don’t need it, he says, or reject the idea of ​​getting a license.

“You need a license to drive a car,” he said, puzzled as to why people wouldn’t make sure their dog has everything he needs.

Others may be concerned about paying for both a license and the rabies vaccine, which is why free services are being offered this month.

Shelter supervisor Shelly Gray says rabies is 100% preventable if an animal is vaccinated. The virus is most prevalent in bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes, she said. Animals can transmit the virus to humans through a bite. Rabies affects the central nervous system in animals and eventually reaches the brain, causing death.

No treatment currently exists for animals that contract rabies, so they are euthanized.

A license for a neutered or spayed dog costs $15 for one year or $40 for three years. If a dog is unspayed or neutered, the license fee is $25 for one year; $70 for three years. The three-year license requires a three-year rabies vaccine. Pet owners must bring proof of a previous rabies vaccination to get the three-year vaccine.

Licensing is important, Gatt said, for several reasons.

Dogs with tags that come off can be quickly returned to their owners. Loose dogs can bite people, he says, for a multitude of reasons. The license tag proves the dog is vaccinated, saving the bite victim a series of painful blows and the dog owner from having to quarantine their pet for 10 days.

The Michigan DNR website says rabies was first documented in early 2000 BC and likely arrived in North America with domestic dogs in the 1700s.

Gatt said a major outbreak of rabies in dogs led to the state law of 1919 requiring dogs to be licensed and allowing the euthanasia of destructive dogs.

State officials recommend that dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, cattle and sheep be vaccinated against rabies, but Michigan law so far only requires vaccines for dogs and ferrets.

Free rabies vaccination clinics are scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday in April. No appointment is necessary. The Oakland County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center is located at 1200 North Telegraph Rd., Building 42 East, Pontiac.

Learn more online at or call (248) 858-1070.