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Arkansas Rabies Control Act
The Animal Services Program provides essential animal services to Fayetteville by enforcing the Arkansas Rabies Control Act. Arkansas rabies law requires that all dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age by a licensed veterinarian. One shot is not enough; rabies vaccinations must be kept current so talk with your veterinarian about when your pet needs its rabies booster shots.
You may access the text of the Arkansas Rabies Control Act online here.
Rabies is a deadly viral disease that affects the nervous system of warm-blooded animals, particularly mammals. It is usually spread by an infected animal biting another animal or person. Rabies is a fatal disease that almost always leads to death, unless treatment is provided soon after exposure. In Arkansas, rabies lives and circulates in wild skunks and bats. Any mammal can become infected with rabies, including domestic pets such as dogs and cats, agricultural animals such as cows and horses, and people when they are exposed to rabid wildlife. But the Arkansas Department of Health cannot tell if wildlife are infected by looking at them--a laboratory test is needed.
The Arkansas State Public Health Laboratory tests animals for rabies. They test wildlife that has bitten or exposed a person or domestic animal. They also test pets that have bitten or exposed a person, or get sick with signs of rabies or die during a 10-day confinement after biting a person.
Contact the State Public Health Veterinarian at 501-661-2220 if you have questions.