Cats and dogs must be vaccinated against rabies in the City of Hamilton. The law was enacted in 2019 after a rabies outbreak infected hundreds of animals and humans in the city. 

Rabies is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system of mammals, ultimately causing disease in the brain.

The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA (HBSPCA) offers the rabies vaccine at a low cost for pets that are at least 16 weeks old.

“Rabies can be deadly for both humans and animals,” says Michelle Macnab, animal outreach coordinator at the HBSPCA. “There are plenty of examples of indoor cats who never go outside, or dogs who are always on a leash, getting loose that one time and having an encounter with a raccoon or skunk that gives them rabies.”

Does my pet need the rabies vaccine in Hamilton?

“There are also instances of infected bats getting inside peoples’ homes,” she adds.

The HBSPCA offers joint microchip and rabies vaccine appointments that can be completed in less than 10 minutes.

“It’s very quick and very affordable,” says Macnab. “You book the appointment and pay online so all you’re doing is dropping your pet off and waiting for them for a short time.”

For information on the next rabies clinic at the HBSPCA, and to book an appointment online, visit hbspca.com/services/pet-health/#rabies.