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Students Celebrate World Rabies Day September 28 with Entertainment and Education

October 1, 2008

 Sunday, September 28, UC Davis veterinary students and friends were thinking globally and running locally at the Second Annual Dog ‘N’ Jog & Run for Rabies, a pet-friendly racing event in Davis. 

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The students commemorated World Rabies Day to recognize the importance of vigilance against rabies and raise money to raise awareness of the disease, which kills some 55,000 people each year. 

Although rabies is preventable, there is no cure. Few cases occur in the United States. However, in other countries, rabies threatens both animals and people, particularly children exposed while playing with unvaccinated dogs. 

About 130 people turned out for the event, says Jenna Fransioli, one of the race organizers. "We raised more than $1,000. A portion of these proceeds will go to the Global Rabies Alliance," she states.

Other pet friendly festivities included a "Puppy Palooza" Animal Health & Craft Fair. Campus visitors were also able to learn about rabies awareness activities in Tanzania through the Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement project, a program of the school's Wildlife Health Center.

The students hosted the Dog 'N' Jog through the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The group is promoting rabies awareness as part of  a national effort to strengthen the relationship between animal and human medicine and promote the view of "One Health" in both professions. Veterinary students have embraced this initiative nationwide, and on World Rabies Day, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine joined 26 other US veterinary schools to raise awareness and understanding about the importance of rabies prevention. 

Also on September 28, the Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement project, or HALI, scheduled its Rabies Awareness Day programs in Tanzania, Africa. HALI, managed by the school's Wildlife Health Center, is a collaboration between the US and Tanzanian scholars and conservationists aimed at assessing the effects of zoonotic disease and water management on health and livelihoods in the Ruaha ecosystem, Tanzania.