Every dog and cat over three months of age must have a current vaccination against rabies in Rutherford County, TN.
Rabies vaccines are available at PAWS for $15, and includes the license. Typically rabies vaccines are given Monday through Thursday, from 12 - 4 p.m. and Fridays 12 - 2 p.m., when a veterinarian is available. Many times the veterinarian is in later than the provided hours- It is always best to call ahead before bringing your pet in for their vaccination. No appointment is necessary - walk-ins only. A list of other local vets is below.
Why is this Necessary?
Rabies is transmitted by the saliva of infected mammals, primarily dogs, cats, skunks, raccoons, and bats. There have been isolated cases of rabid cows and horses. If untreated, it is FATAL to humans. The treatment for a bite by a rabid animal is long and painful. An unvaccinated animal that is bitten by a rabid animal should be euthanized. An unvaccinated animal that bites a human may be euthanized in order to test for rabies. Nearly all of the animals that test positive for rabies in Rutherford County are skunks, which are being driven out of their normal habitat by development. If you see a skunk out in the daytime, please leave it alone and contact PAWS at 615-898-7740 as skunks can carry the rabies virus. Raccoons are beginning to show up in Eastern Tennessee with a new strain of rabies that may lead to increased cases of rabies among cows and horses. At least once a year the Rutherford County Veterinarians offer rabies shots for a discounted rate during the "Rabies Clinic Week." Call your local veterinarian for a schedule.