New Rabies Reporting Rule In Jackson Co.

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Veterinarians in Jackson County are now required to help ensure dogs are licensed in the county.

On Wednesday, Jackson County Commissioners voted to adopt an ordinance requiring vets to report the names of dog owners who bring their canines in to get rabies shots. Both the shots and the licenses are already required by state law. Now, the county will share the license fee with vets for helping ensure compliance.

“We believe really provides a sustainable revenue stream to continue our progress in providing essential animal services for our community,” said Animal Control Director Barbara Talbert.

Many of those opposed at Wednesday’s hearing were concerned about the county intruding into their veterinarian businesses.

“The first thing I’m asked is, ‘Are you gonna report this to the county, because if you are, I don’t want this vaccine,'” said veterinarian Gail Coulter

“What I’m concerned about is the county’s, or any government agency, having more personal information on people,” said Tom Turbick, with All Creatures Animal Hospital.

Prospect Resident Colleen Roberts presented an informal petition with more than 30 signatures in opposition, but board members Doug Briedenthal and Don Skundrick voted to adopt the new rules.

The ordinance requiring Jackson county veterinarians to report dog owners who get rabies shots, but don’t have dog licenses, is a permanent ordinance with no sunset clause. While it’s not part of the ordinance, however, county commissioners say they want to review the law a year from now to see if it’s working properly.


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  1. Luanna M. Neal says:

    Forcing the veterinarians in Jackson County to be a policing agent for the County – – despite the fact that the County says they will be sharing the fees with the vets – – is ridiculous. I have three dogs who are legal in Josephine County. Passing the buck from the overburdened, understaffed Animal Control is not the answer. Since Animal Control lacks the manpower and funding to conduct what essentially would be a door-to-door search for noncompliance, the County should look elsewhere for its policing faction.

    All a policy like this does is drive good people underground. I know several seniors who cannot afford the license, but scrimp and save to have their beloved family members vaccinated. I know some wouldn’t have the means to leave their county to go to a neighboring county to see a vet who would not report them. What do they do then? Put themselves and their pet in jeopardy?

    We turn to our veterinarians’ to be as much child psychologist to us as doctors for our loved ones. We expect compassion and concern – – not mandatory reporting. It is unfair that the county has put our trusted veterinarians in such a position.

    Is there a penalty if a veterinarian is non-compliant? If so, what is that penalty? Where would the money go that was raised from the penalty?

    I think this issue goes so far beyond asking the vets to be police.

  2. Cheryl says:

    I think this will just keep owners from getting rabies vaccinations, and will cause a larger problem in the long run. Good luck with that Jackson County!

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