SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A number of pet owners are choosing to not get their cats, dogs, and rabbits vaccinated, with many saying “it’s not necessary.”

In Britain, the 2018 report from “Britain’s People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals” found approximately 25 percent (2.2 million) dogs didn’t get vaccinated when they were puppies. The same survey found 35 percent of cat owners didn’t vaccinate their kittens, while 41 percent of cats never got their boosters. For rabbits, about half never got their shots.

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California requires all pets to get the rabies vaccine; however, a number of other vaccinations are recommended due to potential illness.


  • Viral disease causes inflammation of the brain
  • Kills tens of thousands a year (Worldwide)
  • Kills one-two people a year (United States)
  • 4,900 reported cases of animal rabies yearly
  • Symptoms: fever, tingling, violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, inability to move parts of the body, confusion, loss of consciousness
  • Can take one to three months for symptoms to appear
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  • Highly contagious
  • Puppies under 4 months most at risk
  • Spread from dog-to-dog contact and contaminated feces, environments (including dog bowls, collars, leashes), and people
  • Gastrointestinal tract affected
  • Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain/bloating, high or low body temperature, vomiting, severe diarrhea
  • Most deaths occur within 48-72 hours


  • Contagious
  • Puppies under four months most at risk
  • Virus attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous system of puppies and dogs
  • Spread through airborne exposure (coughing or sneezing), shared food and water bowls, shared equipment
  • Mothers can pass Distemper through the placenta to puppies
  • Often deadly, but dogs who survive have permanent nervous system damage


  • Bacterial
  • Found in soil and water
  • Can spread from animals to humans
  • Symptoms in people include flu-like symptoms that can cause liver or kidney disease
  • Spread through dogs drinking from rivers, lakes, or streams; exposure to wildlife or farm animals; contacts with rodents or other dogs
  • Dogs become infected if their mucous membrane or skin wound comes into contact with infected urine, urine-contaminated soil, water, food, bedding, bite from an infected animal, eating infected tissue or carcass, or breeding (rarely.)
  • Symptoms include fever, shivering, muscle tenderness, reluctance to move, increased thirst, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice, or painful inflammation within the eyes
  • Can cause liver or kidney failure
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  • Bacterial
  • Responsible for Kennel Cough
  • Causes inflammation in a dog’s upper respiratory system