Ipswich Tribune -

Sheriff's Corner


October 24, 2018

Our Pets/Our Responsibility

We are in the fall season and the foliage is really changing across the county. I wanted to take this time to visit with all residents of Edmunds County about our pets. This seems like a topic that the Sheriff of your county wouldn't need to speak about. We have had some issues arise in the county involving pets. We all love to have our dogs, cats, horses or what ever type of animal you have as a pet by our sides for our enjoyment. It comes with a great responsibility to maintain the health of those animals. We all go to the doctor when we aren't feeling well or when we need to have our routine visits to get our flu shots or other vaccinations that keep us running at full speed and our health to the best it can be. Our pets require the same responsibility on our behalf.

We have seen some dog and cat bite cases this year and I want to take this time to inform you of the importants of this situation. Our pets need to be vaccinated on a regular basis performed by a licensed veterinarian yearly or as set by your veterinarian. We have seen some dog bite cases that have ended in a not so well fashion for the person bitten and the animal itself. Although we can not say that you won't get bitten by a dog or cat or even some animal at some point in your life but as pet owners it is your sole responsibility to maintain their health.

Rabies is a scary disease that is carried by animals that have been infected by yet another animal causing this animal to do out of the ordinary things that we wouldn't expect. We all know that wild animals should be left to the wild. When our furry friends come into contact with those animals a possible bad situation may arise, hence the importants for vaccination. Going through a series of rabies vaccinations for humans as I have heard from some is not a pleasant experience.

In the event you should be bitten by an animal that is owned by or maintained by an individual medical attention should be sought out immediately. The proper authorities should be notified in the event this happens. As law enforcement we see this happen and we respond accordingly. Advised by the State of South Dakota you as the owner of the pet are required to show proof of vaccinations on your pet immediately when a bite has taken place. You need to have paper work from your veterinarian that certifies a current rabies vaccine has been administered. If you do not have that paperwork then you will need to contact your veterinarian immediately to verify for law enforcement that your pet has been vaccinated. In the event this happens in the evening hours it can be very difficult to contact these people for this verification. This is important to keep thorough records of your pet and tags on your pet at all times showing this has been done.

THE DOWN FALL. If you can not show proof immediately you will be required to take your pet to the veterinary clinic to be held in confinement until proof can be acquired. If the shot records are not current and/or you can not show proof, the animal will have to be euthanized humanely by a licensed veterinarian and tested for rabies. This is the law. If the animal comes back negative then you have lost a pet for no reason. When simply having papers to verify would have been sufficient to keep your pet from this happening. Either way you are going to be held accountable for all medical for the person(s) bitten and the cost of the veterinarian doing the euthanization and cost of lab testing for the rabies disease.

I can not express enough how important it is to maintain these records and keep tags on your pets collars. We love our pets but they can not stay healthy without us helping them out. So do yourselves a favor and have your pets looked at by a licensed veterinarian and make sure all shots including rabies are current and up to date. The last thing we want to do is see a loyal friend taken away from you when this is a relatively simple task.

A REMINDER. As a pet owner we owe it to ourselves, our pets, our communities and county to maintain the health of our furry friends like we take care of ourselves. Please if you have taken time to read this contact your local veterinarian and discuss a plan with them immediately to avoid anything in the future. If you have moved here from another state make sure to have your records forwarded to a veterinarian in the area.

HUNTERS. You are required to have proof of rabies vaccinations on your pets (tags) or paperwork showing this has been done. You will fall into the same category as everyone else should a bite take place in the field or anywhere. It doesn't matter if you are from out of state. The state law will apply. Please pass this along to your friends as they come to enjoy the pheasant season.

The Edmunds County Sheriff's Office would like wish all of you a safe fall season and enjoy the weather before us.


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