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Discussion Starter #1
there is a huge difference between a rule and a law. rules can be enforced and even mandated, but the law, the federal law, holds the real choice for a person stuck with making a choice. for example. vaccines. public schools mandate vaccines, they are required for school entry. different states have different lists for which vaccines they say are required.
but the federal law says that they cannot literally physically force the child to be vaccinated; there are exemptions that parents can legally choose. so literally, they are not required [its confusing, i know, but between you and me im pretty sure schools lie to a lot of parents saying they are absolutely definitely required by law].

so im fully informed about public, government-ran schools and daycares. but what about dog parks? vaccinating your dog is not even required by law the same way humans are. its the "moral" thing to do for most people. but believe it or not, there are people that dont vaccinate. and they arent doing anything illegal, and no, it wont effect your dog if s/he is fully vaccinated [thats what vaccines are for, right?], and in the case of an immune -compromised dog, well, she probably shouldnt be running around a dog park. there are thousands of dangerous viruses floating around that there ARENT vaccines for. i just dont want a debate about this. i just want facts.

i tried emailing my county/state for some clarification on vaccination laws and dog parks but, weeks later, i have gotten no response.

so.. the sign on the dog park says that dogs are "required to be fully vaccinated".. but then again, schools say my child is required to be fully vaccinated. yet she is going to go to school unvaccinated, perfectly legally.

how do i know if this "requirement" is a law or simply a recommendation? is the dog park public or private? who is even in charge of signing off vaccination record papers? help me out here, folks.

and ill say again that i have tried contacting my county/state officials and ive gotten no response. not even an automated courtesy reply.

and i know i can just bring my dog to the park unvaccinated and no one would know [and just for the record, he IS vaccinated for rabies. he even wears that heart-shaped tag and everything], but i have a guilty conscience when it comes to doing things against the law if im aware of it.
 

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How you know the regulatory status of a rule, is to find the text of your local city and/or county ordinances on the internet.

Rabies is the only required vaccination. An unvaccinated dog might not pose a risk for your dog, but it certainly poses a risk for you.

the rules at the dog park I frequent include this statement:
"What if I see someone break the Fort Woof rules?
Fort Woof was established on the concept that dog owners would police themselves and each other. If you see someone who forgets the rules (i.e., forgets to pick up poop) politely introduce yourself, remind them of the rule, and thank them when they comply with the rule. Fort Worth is full of friendly folks who want to do the right thing. That's the Fort Woof way!"
 

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Discussion Starter #3
oh, i forgot to mention i tried looking it up online, too! on the county website i searched "dog vaccine" "dog immunization" "dog rabies".. nothing except something about how we have a lot of bats in this area. frustrating!

hm, i dont recall seeing something like that on the sign but im sure there is. and im sure no one would give half a mind to inquiring if i vaccinate or not, especially since i do vaccinate for rabies and he is wearing said rabies tag..

but in the scenario someone did ask, and in the event they are extremely offended.. what would happen? its not illegal, so it isnt like animal protective services [or whatever its called] is gonna come after me. i just want to know if its illegal inside the dog park. :\

and yea, i know it poses a threat to my dog. but its also my choice and ive researched these diseases just like i did for my daughter.

on a side note, for woof is an AWESOME name for a park! i wish my county was more creative like that. the one i live by is called the "howe dog park".. named after some guy, i think.
 

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Some municipalities have very difficult websites to navigate. It took me 45 minutes just to find dog related laws in my new city.

Most places only require rabies, in fact I've never seen anything except rabies as a required vaccination. However, I strongly suggest bordatella and distemper vaccines. Giardia is a vaccine I've considered as well. But nobody is enforcing these really so it's a risk you take when allowing your dog to interact with unfamiliar dogs.

Heck, once upon a time I took my completely unvaccinated GSD to the dog park. I didn't know any better at the time and both my GSDs were only vaccinated once in their lives and that was when they went in for their spays.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i didnt know bordatella is known to cause death in older or adult dogs. ive heard it be called the "canid cold"..? besides, i dont believe that the bordatella virus can be made into an effective vaccine, just like the human pertussis vaccine. doesnt seem to work.

do you have any tips for rooting out pet laws on those horrible websites? i havent even been able to find a statement saying that the rabies vaccine is actually required! it doesnt mention ANY vaccines on the pet license application.
 

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If you don't have to provide proof of rabies vaccination in order to get a pet license, then there's probably not a law requiring it. In my part of the country, the vaccination laws are mostly city ordinances, I don't think counties get involved (could be wrong, or maybe it varies).

In my city, you must license your dog at 4 months of age, and the fee for intact dogs is about 3 times that of sterilized dogs, so you either pay up or send your too-young puppy under the knife. Oh well, you can't fight city hall. But, most people don't buy the dog license -- it's just our little way of sticking it to the man.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i didnt hear about any specific time you have to get the license.. my dog is 11 months now and, while i have the form signed, i havent turned it in yet! i got him neutered at 10 months old. so im kinda glad i waited to license him. $12 or $40? hmmm
 
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