State Advocacy Issue

 Administration of Rabies Vaccination State Laws

Last updated March 2015

The following is a compilation of state laws governing the administration of rabies vaccinations to domesticated animals.

Most states specifically regulate the administration of rabies vaccinations to domesticated animals including dogs, cats, and ferrets. Many states allow only licensed veterinarians to administer the vaccine, while others allow veterinary technicians and specifically trained individuals to inoculate these animals.

The required frequency of rabies vaccinations varies from state to state. Some states prescribe a specific interval, while others refer to the label of the vaccine used or the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control. Some states are also beginning to provide exemptions for vaccination requirements if medically necessary as determined by a veterinarian.

Note that while some states have adopted state-wide mandated vaccinations for dogs and cats against rabies, others delegate that decision to local governments such as counties. Some states only include rabies vaccination as a requirement for import into the state.​

Click on the link below to view a summary of each state's laws on rabies vaccinations.

State Rabies Laws​ (PDF)

Source:   Staff research, AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Department
Contact:  State Policy Analyst, AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Department.