It is mandatory and a horrid disease. You minimize risk when you give it separate from other vaccines and there are homeopathic things you can give if you are that concerned. The 2nd vaccine needs to be given 1 year after the first, then every 3 years. You can request a thimersoal free version of the vaccine if the vet will give it.
I have not had a bad experience with a rabies vaccine in about 30 years of owning dogs. I tend to go on the low end of things for vaccines (like titers for distemper and parvo going forward) but rabies is not negotiable.
NAPWDA Certified Cadaver Dog
Waiting at the Bridge (italics
=GSDs) (hemangiosarcoma=blue):Grim , Cyra, Toby
, Rainbow, Linus, Oscar
, Arlo & Waggles