California Health and Safety Code Section 121690
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California Laws > Health and Safety Code > California Health and Safety Code Section 121690
121690. In rabies areas, all of the following shall apply:
(a) Every dog owner, after his or her dog attains the age of four
months, shall no less than once every two years secure a license for
the dog as provided by ordinance of the responsible city, city and
county, or county. License fees shall be fixed by the responsible
city, city and county, or county, at an amount not to exceed
limitations otherwise prescribed by state law or city, city and
county, or county charter.
(b) (1) Every dog owner, after his or her dog attains the age of
four months, shall, at intervals of time not more often than once a
year, as may be prescribed by the department, procure its vaccination
by a licensed veterinarian with a canine antirabies vaccine approved
by, and in a manner prescribed by, the department, unless a licensed
veterinarian determines, on an annual basis, that a rabies
vaccination would endanger the dog's life due to disease or other
considerations that the veterinarian can verify and document. The
responsible city, county, or city and county may specify the means by
which the dog owner is required to provide proof of his or her dog's
rabies vaccination, including, but not limited to, by electronic
transmission or facsimile.
(2) A request for an exemption from the requirements of this
subdivision shall be submitted on an approved form developed by the
department and shall include a signed statement by the veterinarian
explaining the inadvisability of the vaccination and a signed
statement by the dog owner affirming that the owner understands the
consequences and accepts all liability associated with owning a dog
that has not received the canine antirabies vaccine. The request
shall be submitted to the local health officer, who may issue an
exemption from the canine antirabies vaccine.
(3) The local health officer shall report exemptions issued
pursuant to this subdivision to the department.
(4) A dog that is exempt from the vaccination requirements of this
section shall be considered unvaccinated.
(5) A dog that is exempt from the vaccination requirements of this
section shall, at the discretion of the local health officer or the
officer's designee, be confined to the premises of the owner, keeper,
or harborer and, when off the premises, shall be on a leash the
length of which shall not exceed six feet and shall be under the
direct physical control of an adult. A dog that is exempt from the
provisions of this section shall not have contact with a dog or cat
that is not currently vaccinated against rabies.
(c) All dogs under four months of age shall be confined to the
premises of, or kept under physical restraint by, the owner, keeper,
or harborer. Nothing in this chapter and Section 120435 shall be
construed to prevent the sale or transportation of a puppy four
months old or younger.
(d) Any dog in violation of this chapter and any additional
provisions that may be prescribed by any local governing body shall
be impounded, as provided by local ordinance.
(e) The governing body of each city, city and county, or county
shall maintain or provide for the maintenance of a pound system and a
rabies control program for the purpose of carrying out and enforcing
(f) Each city, county, or city and county shall provide dog
vaccination clinics, or arrange for dog vaccination at clinics
operated by veterinary groups or associations, held at strategic
locations throughout each city, city and county, or county. The
vaccination and licensing procedures may be combined as a single
operation in the clinics. No charge in excess of the actual cost
shall be made for any one vaccination at a clinic. No owner of a dog
shall be required to have his or her dog vaccinated at a public
clinic if the owner elects to have the dog vaccinated by a licensed
veterinarian of the owner's choice.
All public clinics shall be required to operate under antiseptic
immunization conditions comparable to those used in the vaccination
of human beings.
(g) In addition to the authority provided in subdivision (a), the
ordinance of the responsible city, city and county, or county may
provide for the issuance of a license for a period not to exceed
three years for dogs that have attained the age of 12 months or older
and have been vaccinated against rabies or one year for dogs
exempted from the vaccination requirement pursuant to subdivision
(b). The person to whom the license is issued pursuant to this
subdivision may choose a license period as established by the
governing body of up to one, two, or three years. However, when
issuing a license pursuant to this subdivision, the license period
shall not extend beyond the remaining period of validity for the
current rabies vaccination and, if a dog is exempted from the
vaccination requirement pursuant to subdivision (b), the license
period shall not extend beyond one year. A dog owner who complies
with this subdivision shall be deemed to have complied with the
requirements of subdivision (a).
(h) All information obtained from a dog owner by compliance with
this chapter is confidential to the dog owner and proprietary to the
veterinarian. This information shall not be used, distributed, or
released for any purpose, except to ensure compliance with existing
federal, state, county, or city laws or regulations.
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Last modified: October 1, 2013