Bite Investigation

A bite investigation is conducted by an Animal Control Officer each time our office is notified of an animal biting a human.  By Community Ordinance[CP1] , the animal must be quarantined for a specific amount of time; . tThis is done in order to safeguard the Community from people possibly getting infected with the rabies virus.  There is a ten (10) day quarantine for domestic dogs and cats and fourteen (14) days for all other types of animals.  Depending on the situation and whether the dog or cat has a current rabies vaccination and license tag will decide how the animal is to be quarantined.  It will be the investigating Animal Control Officer who will evaluate the situation and make the final determination of what needs to be done.


Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.


The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hyper salivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.


The rabies virus is transmitted through saliva or brain/nervous system tissue. You can only get rabies by coming in contact with these specific bodily excretions and tissues.


It’s important to remember that rabies is a medical urgency but not an emergency. Decisions should not be delayed.


Wash any wounds immediately. One of the most effective ways to decrease the chance for infection is to wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water.


See your doctor for attention for any trauma due to an animal attack before considering the need for rabies vaccination.


Your doctor, possibly in consultation with your state or local health department, will decide if you need a rabies vaccination. Decisions to start vaccination, known as postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), will be based on your type of exposure and the animal you were exposed to, as well as laboratory and surveillance information for the geographic area where the exposure occurred.


In the United States, postexposure prophylaxis consists of a regimen of one dose of immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period. Rabies immune globulin and the first dose of rabies vaccine should be given by your health care provider as soon as possible after exposure. Additional doses or rabies vaccine should be given on days 3, 7, and 14 after the first vaccination. Current vaccines are relatively painless and are given in your arm, like a flu or tetanus vaccine.

Wound Care

What is the risk for my pet?

Is there rabies in my area?

How is rabies transmitted?

How is rabies diagnosed?