One of the most important vaccine research studies in veterinary medicine is underway at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison. Dr. Ronald Schultz, a leading authority on veterinary vaccines and Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, has begun concurrent 5 and 7 year challenge studies to determine the long-term duration of immunity of the canine rabies vaccine, with the goal of extending the state-mandated interval for boosters. These will be the first long-term challenge studies on the canine rabies vaccine to be published in the United States.

Dr. Schultz comments that: "We are all very excited to start this study that will hopefully demonstrate that rabies vaccines can provide a minimum of 7 years of immunity."

This research is being financed by The Rabies Challenge Fund, a charitable trust founded by pet vaccine disclosure advocate Kris L. Christine of Maine, who serves as Co-Trustee with world-renowned veterinary research scientist and practicing clinician, Dr. W. Jean Dodds of Hemopet in California. The Rabies Challenge Fund recently met its goal of $177,000 to fund the studies’ first year budget with contributions from dog owners, canine groups, trainers, veterinarians, and small businesses. Annual budget goals of $150,000 for the studies must be met in the future.

Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM states: "This is the first time in my 43 years of involvement in veterinary issues that what started as a grass-roots effort to change an outmoded regulation affecting animals will be addressed scientifically by an acknowledged expert to benefit all canines in the future."

Scientific data published in 1992 by Michel Aubert and his research team demonstrated that dogs were immune to a rabies challenge 5 years after vaccination, while Dr. Schultz’s serological studies documented antibody titer counts at levels known to confer immunity to rabies 7 years post-vaccination. This data strongly suggests that state laws requiring annual or triennial rabies boosters for dogs are redundant. Because the rabies vaccine is the most potent of the veterinary vaccines and associated with significant adverse reactions, it should not be given more often than is necessary to maintain immunity. Adverse reactions such autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock; aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibrosarcomas at injection sites are linked to rabies vaccinations.

Study co-trustee Kris Christine adds: “Because the USDA does not require vaccine manufacturers to provide long-term duration of immunity studies documenting maximum effectiveness when licensing their products, concerned dog owners have contributed the money to fund this research themselves. We want to ensure that rabies immunization laws are based upon independent, long-term scientific data.”

More information and regular updates on The Rabies Challenge Fund and the concurrent 5 and 7 year challenge studies it is financing can be found at the fund’s website designed by volunteer Andrea Brin at:

Rabies Challenge Studies Media Coverage

Mainer raising funds for dog study
The Rabies Challenge Animal Wise Radio Interview (scroll down to The Rabies Challenge 12/9/07 to hear interview with Dr. Ronald Schultz and Kris L.Christine of The Rabies Challenge Fund)
The Latest on Canine Rabies Bird Dogs Forever Audio Episode A075
Rabies Challenge Fund Reaches First-Year Goal:
Pets: Rabies vaccine research may save some pain
The Vaccine Challenge
How Often Does He REALLY Need a Rabies Shot?
Get Out Your Wallets, Rabies Challenge Fund a Reality
Are We Overvaccinating our Pets?
Rabies Challenge Kicks Off Fundraiser
Nationwide Campaign Launched to Fund Rabies Vaccine Study;
Challenging the Rabies Vaccine
The Rabies Challenge Fund
The Rabies Challenge Fund & Master Dog Training at the Womens Podcasting Expo - Show #42
U.S. Free of Canine Rabies Virus
US Declared Canine-Rabies Free -- CDC Announces at Inaugural World Rabies Day Symposium

Fort Dodge Rabies Vaccine Recall

Fort Dodge issued a recall of its RabVac 3 TF serial number 873113A rabies vaccine on May 25, 2006 after a vaccinated dog contracted rabies (see The Charlotte Observer article at also see Dogs Adverse Reactions webpage: According to Fort Dodge's recall letter, this batch of vaccine "was released into the veterinary market in November 2004 and expires June 29, 2006." Concerned pet owners or veterinarians can call Fort Dodge about the recalled vaccine is 800-533-8536. This link will take you to the Wyoming State Vet Lab website which has posted the recall letter. Just click on the appropriate icon.

Anyone wishing to have a copy of either the 1992 French challenge study data from a research team led by Michel Aubert in which dogs were demonstrated to be immune to a rabies challenge 5 years after vaccination, or Vascellari's study which documented cancerous tumors in dogs at presumed injection sites of rabies vaccine, please e-mail me.

PERMISSION GRANTED TO POST AND CROSS-POST THIS MESSAGE If you wish to be added to my e-mail list for updates on the Rabies Challenge Fund, please contact me at [email protected] .

Regards, Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Donations can be sent to:
The Rabies Challenge Fund
c/o Hemopet
11330 Markon Drive
Garden Grove, CA 92841
Online donations can be made at:

The following, along with many pet owners, trainers, breeders, and kennel owners, have contributed to The Rabies Challenge Fund:

North Lake Kennel Club (Greater Covington, LA) in "Memory of the Dogs and Cats that Perished in Hurricane Katrina"

Belleville and District Kennel Club
Dachshund Club of America Health and Welfare Trust Fund
Antelope Valley Kennel Club
Norwegian Elkhound Association of Minnesota

Kuvasz Club of America
Star of the North Chinese Shar-Pei Club
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America
American Shih Tzu Club
Akita Club of America
Great River Stockdog Club
Dog Agility Racing Team of Chino
Collie Club of Georgia
Chesapeake, Virginia Dog Fanciers Association
Capital City Cocker Club
Bernese Mountain Dog Club of SE Wisconsin
Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Nashoba Valley
Leigh Valley Kennel Club
Kuvasz Fanciers of America
Kishwaukee Kennel Club
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation
Kennel Club of Buffalo
Heart of Minnesota Great Dane Club
Pacific NW Jack Russell Terrier Rescue Network
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club of Canada
Northern Illinois Schutzhund Club
Miniature Schnauzer Club of Southern California
Bernese Mountain Dog Club of the Greater Twin Cities
Great Plains Bearded Collie Club
Door County Scottie Rally
Great Dane Club of New England
Wachusett Kennel Club
Evergreen Empire Manchester Terrier Fanciers
Chicagoland Old English Sheepdog Club
Standard Schnauzer Club of Southern California
Staffordshire Terrier Club of America
Saint Bernard Club of America
Pacific Rim Golden Retriever Club
American Bulldog Association
Northeastern Indiana Kennel Club
The Alaskan Malamute Club
Saluki Club of Canada
Great Dane Club of America
Bernese Mountain Club of South Carolina
Lakeshore Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club
Iron Range Dog Training Club
Alaskan Malamute Club of America
Northeastern Indiana Kennel Club
Bernese Mountain Club of Northern California
Animal Farm Foundation
American Bullmastiff Association
Bichon Frise Club of America
Twin Cities Llasa Apso Club
Youngstown All-Breed Training Club
Valparaiso Kennel Club
Ochlockonee River Kennel Club of Florida
Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America
Paw Print Dog Club
Health and Rescue Foundation of PBGVCA
Akita Welfare League
Greater Pittsburgh Golden Retriever Club
Dog Agility Racing Team of Chino
Western Reserve Kennel Club
Onondaga Kennel Association
Parson Russell Terrier Association of America
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Clug of Southern California
Sporting Dog Fanciers of New Mexico
Lake Eustis Kennel Club
The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
Doberman Pinscher Club of America
National Labrador Retriever Club
Daybreak Kennel
Bearded Collie Club of America
Victory Crossroads Kennel Club
Potugusese Water Dog Club of Northern California
Bernese Mountain Dog Club of the Greater Twin Cities
Muncie Obedience Training Club
The National Capital Bearded Collie Club
Siberian Husky Health Foundation
Great River Stockdog Club
Gig HArbor Kennel Club
Krusin Kanines Agility Club
Paws Abilities Dog Training
Weimaraner Foundation Fund
Southland Weimaraner Club
Nutmeg Portuguese Water Dog Club, Inc.
Golden Gate Gordon Setter Club
St Louis Herding Club
Portuguese Water Dog Club of America
Chinese Crested Club of Southern California
Portuguese Water Dog Foundation, Inc
South Shore Kennel Club
German Pinscher Club of America
Orlando Dog Training Club
Clear Lake Kennels
Mid-Florida Shetland Sheepdog Club
Ridgeback Rodeo 2007
Chambersburg Area Kennel Club
Souhegan Kennel Club
United German Shepard Dog Alliance
Terra Cotta Kennels
Labrador Retriever Club of the Pioneer Valley
Chicagoland Dalmatian Club
Heart of Minnesota Great Dane Club, Inc.
Lehigh Valley Kennel Club
Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc.
St. Catherines Kennel Club
The Albany Obedience Club
Rio Salado Vizsla Club, Inc.
Durham Kennel Club, Inc.
Huntsville Obedience Training Club, Inc.
Kilshannagh Veterinary Clinic
Standard Schnauzer Club of Southern California
Paw Prints Dog Club
American Eskimo Dog Club of America
Raleigh Kennel Club
Five Flags Dog Training Club
Anatolian Shepherd Dogs International
Mile High Agility Training
The Harrisburg Kennel Club
Sta Can Kennels
The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation
PHI Beta K-9 School for Dogs
Northcoast Bernese Mountain Dog Club