Starting January 1, 2012, it will be mandantory for dog, cat, and ferret owners in Washington State to have their animal vaccinated for rabies.

Now, most responsible pet owners already do that.  And while many cities require it,  others do not; this new state law will cover every pet owner in the state.  According to the state Department Of Health, every year in WA several hundred people have to receive rabies vaccines because of potential exposure to rabid animals.  Bats are one of the leading spreaders of the disease.   Cats are twice as likely to be exposed to rabies as dogs.    The last documented case of a human contracting rabies in Washington state was 1997, the last case of a domestic animal was a cat in 2002.