The State Department of Health says pet dogs, cats, and ferrets must be current on their rabies vaccination starting January 1, 2012.
This new rule aims to reduce the number of rabies exposures in Washington.
DOH says every year in Washington, several hundred people have to get the series of rabies shots because of possible exposure to the rabies virus.
Many cities and counties require rabies vaccinations for some pets, but vaccinations have never been required by the state.
People should talk to their veterinarian about vaccinations and rabies prevention.