Spotlight on Rabies Challange Fund

While this isn’t directly being released by the Rabies Challenge Fund they are huge opponents of this proposed legislation and are trying to spread the word about it to pet owners around the country.Please take a moment to read this press release and pass it along to everyone you know even those not currently living in California. What happens in one state can happen across the country and this would be horrible even the companies that make the Rabies Vaccination are against this proposed bill because they recommend only vaccinating healthy animals and this law would pressure everyone to vaccinate whether healthy or not. 

Permission to Cross-Post has been granted by the author of the press release. 

California Rabies Bill Seeks Lifetime Quarantine for Sick Dogs
An amendment currently being considered by the California Legislature would
force dog owners whose dogs are too sick to be vaccinated to either quarantine
those dogs or vaccinate them, despite their illnesses. This would include dogs
whose illnesses have been caused or aggravated by the rabies vaccine itself. For
those dogs, and many others with chronic diseases, the amendment would
effectively create either a requirement of lifetime quarantine or force the dog to
receive a life-threatening vaccination.

Vaccine-induced illness, or vaccinosis, comes in a variety of forms and is usually
autoimmune in nature. Typically, dogs that develop vaccinosis never fully
recover, and it is usually recommended that they not be vaccinated again. They
often receive a medical exemption in the form of a letter from a veterinarian
advising against future vaccination. A medical exemption letter can be given for
many reasons, if a veterinarian determines that a dog is too sick to tolerate
further vaccination. In fact, the labeling instructions on vaccine products
instruct veterinarians to vaccinate healthy dogs only.

In California, several changes to the rabies vaccination laws are currently under
review, including this language:
“A dog exempt from the canine antirabies vaccination shall
be kept quarantined as directed by the local health officer,
until the dog’s medical condition has resolved and the
administration of the canine antirabies vaccine occurs.”

For those dogs that are exempt due to vaccinosis or other chronic conditions,
this proposed amendment means owners must choose either lifetime quarantine
or vaccinating unhealthy dogs against both veterinary and labeling advice. For
some of these dogs, vaccination would be deadly.

What is the actual likelihood of rabies in California dogs? According to data
published by the California Department of Health Services, Veterinary Public
Health Section, bats and skunks are far more likely to carry rabies than dogs.
During the past four years, only one rabid dog has been reported in the entire
state of California. Of the six human cases reported during the period from
1997 to 2006, four are known to have contracted rabies outside of the United
Dr. Bonnie Sorensen, Chief Deputy of the California Department of Public Health
(CDPH), wrote in 2008: “Bats and skunks are the most common animals found to
be rabid in California. Rabies is rare in dogs, cats, and other domestic animals
in California due to vaccination programs and animal control efforts.”
In other words, the vaccination program that currently exists in California is
already working.

According to Jean Dodds, world-renowned California veterinarian and Co-
Trustee of the Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust*: “I am definitely alarmed
about the negative impact this proposed legislation would have on the health
and longevity of dogs legitimately deserving of rabies booster exemptions. The
mandate of permanent quarantine as the alternative to forcing these dogs to
receive rabies boosters would cause untold pain, suffering and hardship not
only for the pet but also the pet owner.

“This proposed legislation is a significant setback to current advancements in
standardizing rabies laws nationwide and providing uniform requirements for
issuing exemptions, where appropriate, on a case-by-case basis. It would be
ironic indeed, if the State of California, believed to be progressive, was to take a big step backwards and enact unwise and unjustified legislation!”

Laura Bates Sterner of Sacramento, the owner of Louie, a Chinese Crested with a
long history of health problems related to the rabies vaccine, is worried that
people will not understand what this law would mean for dogs like hers with
chronic illness. “Another part of the same amendment defines and clarifies
what qualifies as a medical exemption under the law, and that is a good thing,”
she says, “but pet owners who fail to look more closely at the rest of the
proposed legislation may not realize that it also contains this additional
language that will force quarantines. Until now, dogs with medical exemptions
have been allowed to simply live out their days. If the new language passes in
its entirety, those animals deemed exempt under the law will have a far different

Sterner, along with Cynthia Jeremica of Sacramento, is hoping to make other
dog owners aware of the proposed change to bill AB2000. They support an
alternative proposal written and endorsed by the co-trustees of the Rabies
Challenge Fund which would eliminate the quarantine requirement, and make
other important changes. For more information about what you need to do in
order to speak out against this amendment (amendment 2 to bill AB2000),
please visit .

*The Rabies Challenge Fund is in the third year of concurrent 5- and 7-year
research trials to determine the long-term duration of immunity of the canine
rabies vaccine with the goal of extending state mandated rabies boosters to 5,
and then 7 years. The purpose would be to extend the interval required for
rabies booster vaccination after the initial 2-dose series beyond the 3-year
interval now followed. See for additional

Additional background/resources: (background on the Rabies
Challenge Fund) (Breaking information about the
pending amendment to AB2000)
• ischemic.html (Story of “Louie’s” struggle with vaccinosis)
• reaction-ischemic-dermatopathy/ (Story of “Peaches” struggle with
• tumors/ a dog with a vaccine induced fibrosarcoma at the injection
• High-resolution images of vaccinosis:
• TKpKjYEdw/s1600-h/IMG_1220.JPG (Erosion of skin and open lesions on
Louie’s ear, more than a year after his injection – image also attached)
• 8F9f8hQok/s1600-h/IMG_1218.JPG (Crusting and hyperpigmentation at
Louie’s injection site, more than a year after his injection)
• QEm50E0bQ/s1600- h/Peaches+from+Feb.+08+to+Feb.+09+skin+changes+002.jpg
(Peaches’ ischemic dermatopathy due to rabies vaccine)
• E7kzTTwgA/s1600- h/Peaches+from+Feb.+08+to+Feb.+09+skin+changes+007.jpg
(Another image of Peaches showing the damage at the injection site –
Image also attached)

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  1. This is really interesting. Thank you for the info
    Benny &ily

  2. Thank YOU for posting about this – Dennis the Visla Dog also made a great post about this yesterday which has all the names, emails, addresses and phone numbers of the committee members in Sacto! Please write or call – on Dennis' site, there is also a great letter to write! Thanks Davinia and Indiana, for posting about this – seriously scary stuff!
    Hugs xo

  3. A MilShelb Mom says

    Thank you for posting this. This is very interesting to me since both Milly and Shelby have life-threatening allergic reactions to vaccinations.

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