The objective of this paper is to report evaluated observations from survey records captured through a cross-sectional
observational study regarding canine populations and dog owners in rabies enzootic KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa.
Our aim was to evaluate respondent knowledge of canine rabies and response to dog bite incidents towards improved
rabies control. Six communities consisting of three land use types were randomly sampled from September 2009 to January
2011, using a cluster design. A total of 1992 household records were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression
modeling to evaluate source of rabies knowledge, experiences with dog bites, and factors affecting treatment received
within respective households that occurred within the 365 day period prior to the surveys. 86% of the population surveyed
had heard of rabies. Non-dog owners were 1.6 times more likely to have heard of rabies than dog owners; however, fear of
rabies was not a reason for not owning a dog. Government veterinary services were reported most frequently as respondent
source of rabies knowledge. Nearly 13% of households had a member bitten by a dog within the year prior to the surveys
with 82% of the victims visiting a clinic as a response to the bite. 35% of these clinic visitors received at least one rabies
vaccination. Regression modeling determined that the only response variable that significantly reflected the likelihood of a
patient receiving rabies vaccination or not was the term for the area surveyed. Overall the survey showed that most
respondents have heard of dog associated rabies and seek medical assistance at a clinic in response to a dog bite regardless
of offending dog identification. An in-depth study involving factors associated within area clinics may highlight the area
dependency for patients receiving rabies post exposure prophylaxis shown by this model.