Animals With Rabies
While wildlife is more likely to be rabid than domestic animals in the United States, the amount of human contact with domestic animals greatly exceeds the amount of contact with wildlife. Your pets and other domestic animals can be infected when they are bitten by rabid wild animals. When "spillover" rabies occurs in domestic animals, the risk to humans increases.
Have your pets vaccinated for rabies by your veterinarian. This will help prevent them from acquiring the disease from wildlife and thereby transmitting it to humans.
Domestic animals accounted for 6.8 percent of all rabid animals reported in the United States in 2001. In 2001, cases of rabies in cats increased 8.4 percent, whereas those in dogs, cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and swine decreased 21.9 percent, 1.2 percent, 1.9 percent, and 70.0 percent, respectively, compared with those reported in 2000. Rabies cases in cats continue to be more than twice as numerous as those in dogs or cattle.
Each state collects specific information about animals with rabies. State and local health departments are the best source for information on rabies in your area.