Department of Health

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Vaccination, Bites, and Rabies

The District law requires that all cats and dogs be vaccinated against rabies and distemper by four months  of age and be kept current.  The best that you can do to protect yourself and your family from rabies is to vaccinate your cats and dogs against this fatal disease. In addition, all dogs must have a current dog license. Puppies and kittens need distemper shots at eight weeks of age, and a booster every three weeks until they are 12–16 weeks old. Their first rabies shot is given at 14–16 weeks, and it is good for one year only. After receiving the second rabies shot, a dog or cat must be re-vaccinated at least every three years. All pets must be brought to the clinic by a responsible adult. Dogs must be secured on a leash and cats must be in a carrier box.

If your unvaccinated dog or cat is exposed to rabid or suspect-rabid animals, or has a wound from an unknown source, the law requires that your animal must be quarantined in strict isolation for six months.

Contact Phone: 
(202) 535-2323
Contact Fax: 
(202) 442-4817
Contact TTY: 
Contact Suite #: 
2nd Floor
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:15 am to 4:45 pm
Service Location: 

Health, Department of

GIS Address: 
899 North Capitol Street, NE