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Minnesota has special rules that you must abide by if animals with rabies are discovered in a neighborhood or town. In areas where rabies has been discovered, the state allows the town to require muzzles on all dogs. It also has the ability to enforce leash laws, which prevent dogs from running loose in the city.

The law also states that the owner of a dog who doesn't get the animal the correct anti-rabies vaccines can be penalized for having a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog if the animal later attacks or bites a person. This is why it's so important to get your dog its vaccines; it protects you from liability in some instances.

What happens in a town or city where a rabies proclamation is made?

In the case that a rabies proclamation is made, your dog must wear a muzzle if it is in the town or at large. This requirement makes sure the animal cannot bite anyone. It doesn't matter if your pet has a rabies vaccination or not; you must muzzle it. This requirement helps prevent the spread of disease. Rabies is fatal if not treated quickly after infection.

You'll know if the rabies proclamation is made because it will be published in the newspaper. If it is not published there, you should be able to find it in public places, since the health board is required to post it in at least three public places. The proclamation begins five days after the posting and lasts for up to six months.

What should you do if you're bitten by an animal with rabies?

If you are bitten by an animal with rabies, you need to obtain post-exposure treatment immediately. Owners who don't get their animals the vaccines that are necessary are held liable thanks to anti-rabies laws.

Source: Animal Legal & Historical Center, "Minnesota Statutes Annotated . Agriculture. Chapter 35. Animal Health. Chapter 346. Stray Animals; Companion Animals. Chapter 347. Dogs and Cats. Regulation of Dangerous Dogs.," accessed Oct. 10, 2017

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