Pets & rabies
When I was a kid, dogs had tags on their collars. That token was proof that the dog had been vaccinated against rabies. I have never seen a dog catcher on the street, but maybe the animal ambulance already existed at that time and they picked up dogs without collars and tags. Animal protection was for sure not that active and anonymous click phone numbers did not exist yet. Many animals were mainly kept for their benefit and that was not seen as animal torture.
The dog tag no longer exists. The dog catcher is a thing of the past, just like the dog cart, dog sled, guard dog, chain dog and even letting a dog outside even if he likes this is quickly seen as wrong in a populated residential area. Even though the outdoor dog is often much stronger, healthier, and happier. Not many dogs appreciate being surrounded by people's stress and noise all the time. Dogs like to explore, mark their territory, and love to dig. Many dog breeds have been bred with a purpose. That goal was to do work for humans, not to participate in exhibitions.
I myself have never known an animal with rabies and this also applies to my family, friends, and acquaintances. My knowledge about rabies and its consequences initially came from the Disney movie 'Old Yeller' and that was even a situation that had nothing to do with the world I lived in. That wolves and foxes only transmit rabies is a lie. Any mammal can transmit this (including cats, rats, mice, and humans).
The question is to what extent the importance of a rabies injection has eradicated the disease. It is quite possible that the simple killing and death of (potentially) infected animals has caused this. If wolves and foxes would transmit rabies en masse, injecting dogs would not have helped as the majority of dogs will never encounter a wolf or fox in their life. Even when you travel with your dog, the chance that he will get rabies is zero. After all, rabies is not transmitted by sitting in the car, walking on a leash, being petted by people, peeing against a tree, or digging in foreign soil.
It just depends on where you live and what kind of life your animal leads and how big the chance of rabies is.
Some European countries have been declared rabies-free. The question is to what extent that is true and verifiable. It is only possible to control what ultimately ends up with a veterinarian with symptoms and next will be reported. What is not reported and next registered does not exist. How and where a dog (we never hear anything about cats and they roam around outside en masse, unlike the average dog) is often unclear. With us, many dogs are imported (people pity all those foreign street dogs but next dump them en masse if once back home the animal's behaviour disappoints in daily life), and a possible checkup by a vet is nothing more than a quick snapshot. Quick because the animal has to leave and there is much more to earn for the vet in a short time.
One method to clean up animals with rabies is the distribution of poisonous food by the government. I never saw what it was but read announcements in the area where I live about it. Dog owners are then requested to keep the dog indoors or on a lead. The last announcements are from a few years ago. Since then I hardly saw any cats. Apparently, they were all poisoned on the moor. Despite these repeated government actions regarding rabies, I have never heard of anyone living here reporting rabies. So it seems more like a preventive measure or it is the way to clean up as many stray animals as possible. The question is to what extent foxes eat this poisonous bait. I suspect that they prefer to eat hare, pheasant, pigeon, or mouse and there are more than enough of them here.
The cats are slowly coming back into this area, as a result of being dumped. Gone are the days when we searched the newspapers for a cat and traveled around town and country to fight the plague of mice and rats. After the two (abandoned) kittens, another cat has come to visit us. She is very sweet and it wouldn't surprise me if she is related to the two found kittens (siblings). I don't plan to keep all of them and for sure not indoors. They should live outside and be free, catch their own food. Meanwhile, the found kittens go outside, just like our cat Poppy. They love to run around and climb trees (inside they do not climb on anything).
Releasing the kittens and cats elsewhere will not help because they will probably walk back to our home anyway. What is important to us is that they can manage outside, discover escape routes and understand that not everything (roads, cars) and everyone (animal haters, dogs, wolves) is friendly. All these cats create stress for the wolves, just like the cheeky chickens that roam free and see the entire environment as their territory. The chickens plow a lot of ground and do shit everywhere which is not always pleasant, but for now, I let them enjoy their freedom. If a chicken is caught by one of the wolves it is survival of the fittest and that wolf deserved the meal.
If it comes to the cats I put some food outside twice a day. We spend time together and if they want they can take shelter.
Kashmir - my child's cat and arrived the first - observes from a distance how the rest comes and goes. He is not an outdoor cat and the world outside scares him. Walking around freely is not (yet) his kind of fun. My child is happy that he does not dare to cross the threshold and prefers to look through the window at the birds outside.
We no longer have our animals vaccinated. This does not mean that they have never had injections, but our experience, and that of the vet, is that this has never done (our) animals any good.
To what extent vaccinations are more effective than the damage they cause has been the question for decades. Hygiene, a healthy diet, a healthy mind, and the avoidance of certain situations always appear to coincide with the alleged success of vaccination. It may soon also become a luxury product that is no longer available for every animal, just like antibiotics. As far as I'm concerned, that's good. Humans have tampered with animal health for far too long. Nature itself knows best what the conditions are for survival.
Ah well I’ve not lived in a mountain area where foxes can reach the door