Remember Your Lost Pets Sunday

FOCUS ON PETS

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National Pet Memorial Day is Sunday, Sept. 14. This day of remembrance is for us to pay tribute to a treasured lost pet.

The Humane Society of the United States suggests planting a tree or small flower bed, preparing a special place for your pet's ashes, making a scrapbook or just writing down your feelings and memories.

Memorials made especially for this pet, or a statue or plaque for a special place in the garden, would be a constant and pleasant reminder of this pet's place in your life.

We have all lost very important dogs and cats, without whom we did not think we could survive. Somehow we have managed to survive. But we do not want to forget those pets that have left us and the very special contributions they have made to our lives. One never replaces a special pet. One can, and must, adopt a new pet to attempt to plug up that huge, gaping hole in the heart.

Sept. 14 is the day to do something meaningful in honor of that special lost pet. Maybe that is the day I should finally bury the ashes of my dear Derby.

Change in rabies shots

There are some changes in the requirements for rabies vaccinations.

According to Arizona revised statutes, all dogs over the age of four months must be vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian and must be given a physical examination before receiving the vaccination.

Rabies shots are vitally important for all dogs and outdoor cats.

With this new ruling, buying the rabies serum and administering it yourself will not meet the state requirements.

This ruling is not intended to provide additional income for the veterinarians. It is intended to ensure that your pet sees a licensed veterinarian every few years and is found to be in good health.

It also ensures that the rabies serum used meets set standards regarding quality. The rabies serum must be used within a set period of time after manufacture and stored under proper conditions.

Without rabies vaccinations administered by a licensed veterinarian, dogs cannot be licensed in either the town of Payson or Gila County. Dogs that are picked up that are licensed are much more likely to find their way home.

Should your dog happen to bite someone, if he is properly vaccinated and licensed, he may be able to be quarantined at home. Otherwise, it is a long and expensive quarantine away from home which is unpleasant for all, particularly for the dog.

Because of these new, tighter regulations, Dr. Alan Hallman of Star Valley Veterinary Clinic says that low-cost shot clinics will not be available in the foreseeable future. Hallman and his veterinary associates, assisted by the entire staff at the clinic, have made these clinics available several times each year with no profit for the clinic. With the new ruling, the type of examination required is not possible in a non-clinic environment. Also, the liability issue is looming for veterinarians as it has for medical doctors and is greatly increasing their liability insurance. Veterinarians are now less inclined to take unnecessary risks.

Check your dog's shot records. If he is due, make an appointment with your veterinarian tomorrow. You will not regret it.

And do remember to remember on Sept. 14.

Christy Wrather is a columnist for the Payson Roundup. She can be reached by e-mail at cpwrather@earthlink.net, or by snail-mail at HC1 Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.

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