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Unvaccinated dogs and cats possibly exposed to rabies will spend just four months in quarantine instead of six months as part of a sweeping effort by Gov. Charlie Baker to update Massachusetts regulations.

Dogs and cats that have proof of a prior vaccination at some point in their life are considered currently vaccinated immediately upon receiving a shot, and it will be good for the longest period recognized on the label.

330 CMR 10.00 Prevention of the Spread of Rabies, Massachusetts Department of Agriculture
10.02(3)  An animal that has received at least one Rabies vaccine in its lifetime but, has not received a booster vaccination prior to the expiration date of its last Rabies vaccination, will be considered Currently Vaccinated immediately following administration of a Rabies vacccine and the vaccine will be good for the duration indicated on the product label.

10.06 (3)(c)  Any [unvaccinated] dog or cat Exposed by Direct Contact to a suspected rabid animal, Exposed by Proximity to a confirmed rabid animal, as determined by State Laboratory testing, or which has received a Wound of Unknown Origin shall be vaccinated immediately and placed under Confinement for a period of four months.

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The Rabies Challenge Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization studying the duration of immunity conveyed by rabies vaccines.