Rules and regulations concerning rabies are very strict for one reason: it is a horrible, deadly disease. The cause is a virus that can be carried by any warm-blooded animal. Skunks, bats, raccoons, and foxes are the wild animals most likely to be infected, but stray dogs and cats may also carry the virus. The first signs of rabies are behavioral changes and fever. Next comes the furious stage, during which the animal may become aggressive. Finally, the animal will slowly become paralyzed, foam at the mouth, and eventually die. Once symptoms develop, rabies is always fatal. If your dog receives its rabies shots according to schedule, there should be no problems. Vaccinating against rabies isn't just a good idea. It's the law.