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Canine Rabies Vaccination Exemption Requests

On January 1, 2012, California State Law began allowing rabies vaccination exemptions if approved by the Local Health Officer (LHO). In Orange County, the LHO has delegated this responsibility to OC Animal Care.

Health and Safety Code 121690 states in part that an exemption may be granted for the rabies vaccine on an annual basis if "a rabies vaccination would endanger the dog's life." The law also requires the condition warranting the exemption be verified and documented by a veterinarian. To apply for a rabies vaccination exemption please complete the following legally required forms, accompanied by up to 5 pages of medical records that indicate a rabies vaccine would endanger the life of the dog, as required by law, and the rabies vaccination exemption application fee of $65.00. Submit for review by mail or fax to (714) 259-1089:

1. Canine Rabies Vaccination Exemption Forms Information Sheet

2. Rabies Vaccination Exemption Packet: Rabies Vaccination Certificate-Exemption from Canine Rabies Vaccination Form and County of Orange Supplemental Form for Canine Rabies Vaccination Request Form 

3. All requests must be accompanied by up to 5 pages of medical records indicating your dog's condition meets the established criteria for exemption. Written letters will not be accepted in lieu of records.

4. Remit a $65.00 annual non-refundable rabies exemption application processing fee. Please make checks payable to OC Animal Care. Application processing fee does not include the cost of a dog license. Contact your local animal control agency to obtain a dog license.

Only requests that include all required documents and the annual non-refundable application fee will be reviewed. If approved, exemptions are valid for one year only. If the animal is unable to be immunized the following year, a new exemption request and application fee must be submitted.

If you require additional information or clarification, please contact Orange County’s Rabies Control Department at (714) 796-6421.