Residents urged to vaccinate pets

In light of the recent rabid cat sighting at Lake Sweetwater, the Sweetwater Animal Control would like to inform all pet-owners of the legal responsibilities of rabies vaccinations.• Texas state law requires pet owners to vaccinate their dogs and cats against rabies by 4 months of age.• Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies either every year or every three years depending on the type of rabies vaccine used.• Local ordinances may have more stringent requirements than state laws about rabies vaccinations.• Rabies vaccine for animals must be administered by a licensed veterinarian or under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Animal rabies vaccine can only be sold or distributed to veterinarians. Veterinarians cannot legally sell vaccine to their clients except for use in livestock. Veterinarians must issue a completed rabies vaccination certificate for dogs and cats.• All dogs and cats must receive a second rabies vaccination within one year of receiving their first vaccination regardless of the type of vaccine used or the age at which the animal was initially vaccinated.Local Animal Control Officer Shawn Scott mentioned that should your pet be found by Animal Control, a certificate must be shown stating that the rabies vaccination has been given in order to retrieve the pet. If there is no certificate available, a daily charge is assessed for each day the pet remains at the shelter. "[Getting pets vaccinated] really helps the community," said Scott. Animal Control strongly urges all pet owners to get their pets vaccinated.