Rabies vaccination is required by law in domestic animals. This law is in place to protect people from the deadly virus. Currently, vaccines are labeled for 1 year or 3 year intervals, meaning that after this amount of time the rabies vaccine has expired and your pet needs to be revaccinated.

The reason a vaccine is stated to last for a certain amount of time depends on the testing done with that vaccine. Most vaccines, including the rabies vaccine, require live virus challenge studies. In short, the animal, in this case a dog or cat, is first vaccinated with the rabies vaccine, then kept in strict isolation to prevent “natural” exposure to the virus, and then after 1 year and again after 3 years is challenged with exposure to the virus. If the vaccine is effective (although no vaccine is 100% effective) none of the dogs or cats should develop rabies.

To date, due to the financial constraints placed on the manufacturers of rabies vaccines, no challenge studies have been performed for longer than 3 years. It is likely that the vaccine will be protective for longer than 3 years. Fortunately, thanks to a group of dedicated individuals, we may be able to answer that question of just how long does a rabies vaccine actually protect a dog or cat from rabies.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, along with Dr. Jean Dodds of Hemopet and Kris L. Christine, a pet vaccine disclosure advocate, have established The Rabies Challenge Fund to raise money to fund a 5 and 7 year rabies vaccine challenge study in the U.S.. This study is an independent study to be funded primarily by pet owners. Any contribution is tax deductible because the Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust is a non-profit 501(c) (3).

This is a perfect opportunity for pet owners to make a difference in the wellness of their pets and their future pets. Over vaccination is thought to be a major contributor to chronic disease including thyroid disease and cancer. The Rabies Challenge Fund needs to raise a total of $1.5 million to fully fund the challenge studies. The study is already underway at the University of Wisconsin because donations met the funding costs for the first 2 years. Additional donations can be sent directly to the fund. What a perfect way to memorialize a special companion that shared your life.

Rabies Challenge Fund
c/o Hemopet
11561 Salinaz Ave
Garden Grove, CA 92843
(714) 891-2022

For more information, visit:

Rabies Challenge Fund Position Statement

Holistic Veterinary Center

Holistic Veterinary Center
34 West Street, Concord, NH  03301
Phone: 603-225-9680 • Fax: 603-227-0945
email: holisticvetcenternh@gmail.com