— The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) affirms its support of Dr. Donna Alexander, the Administrator for Cook County Animal and Rabies Control, and her role in enforcing the law which requires rabies vaccinations. The CVMA strongly recommends a long term relationship between pet owners and veterinarians for necessary vaccination schedules and health exams to prevent the spread of other avoidable zoonotic diseases.

The Cook County Animal and Rabies Control Ordinance mandates rabies vaccinations for all cats, dogs and ferrets, 4 months of age and older, in all the municipalities of Cook County.

A zoonotic disease, rabies can spread from infected animals to people and is almost always fatal. The vaccination of pets against rabies helps to safeguard the public, pet owners, and may protect the life of a family pet if they bite an individual or another animal.

Zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, are diseases caused by infectious agents that can be transmitted between (or even are shared by) animals and humans. Other lesser known zoonotic diseases exist, which can also be dangerous to infected adults and children.

The practice of veterinary medicine demonstrates how doctors routinely operate at the interface between human and animal health. Essential keys for reducing exposure to these preventable zoonotic diseases include appropriate vaccination protocols, parasite screening, and preventive medicine provided by veterinarians.

According to CVMA President Dr. Alexis Newman, “Routine veterinary visits are vital to the health of pets. When zoonotic diseases are involved, this can also be significant to the health of family members. Rabies vaccines obtained at low cost vaccine clinics serve a valuable purpose. However, this is not a substitute for the ongoing veterinary care of a pet.”

The CVMA looks forward to continued collaborative efforts with Dr. Alexander and the Cook County Animal and Rabies Control, as we focus on finding solutions for these important public health issues.

For more information about the CVMA, please visit www.chicagovma.org.

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The CVMA is an association of over 1000 veterinarians and 4000 support staff who lovingly assist more than one million Chicago area pets and their families.

The membership of the CVMA is dedicated to the health and well-being of animals through its nurturing of the human animal bond. The CVMA will strive to fulfill the diversified needs of its members by providing nationally recognized CE programs, cultivating membership involvement, and offering innovative member services and exemplary public awareness.

Since 1896, the CVMA has continued a proud tradition of providing its members with vital services and programs which have expanded dramatically over a century to meet the ever-changing needs of the veterinary profession and its diverse patients and clients.