Bites and Dangerous Animals
All dogs and cats have teeth and even the most easy-going pets can bite if they are frightened or injured. Due to the risk of rabies transmission, the department of health requires all pet animals who bite to undergo a quarantine period.
Rabies is a virus spread to people from the saliva of infected animals. The rabies virus is usually transmitted through a bite, and once contracted, the disease is fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control, animals most likely to transmit rabies in the United States include bats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons and skunks. Because pets can and do tangle with wildlife, current rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats are required by metro municipalities for owners to license animals. These vaccinations are key to protecting your pet, you, and the public, from the rabies virus.
When Pets Bite
- All pet animals who bite are required to be quarantined for 10 days for observation.
- If the animal’s rabies vaccination is not current, or no owner can be located, the animal will be quarantined either at the Nebraska Humane Society or by a licensed veterinarian.
- If the pet is current on vaccinations and the bite is not severe to designate it as “dangerous,” it can be quarantined at home. (Another reason to make sure your pet gets his shots!)
- At the end of 10 days, if the pet is not showing signs of rabies, the animal and bite victim are cleared and the rabies administrator will contact all parties involved.
- If the pet has been quarantined at the shelter and the bite was not severe enough to designate it as “dangerous,” the pet will be cleared to return home.
- It’s important to report all bites, simply to make sure that all precautions are taken for everyone’s safety.
I’ve Been Bitten
- If you are bitten by a dog, cat or any warm-blooded mammal (domesticated or wild), you should contact your doctor regarding medical treatment, and animal control regarding the biting animal. Call 402-444-7800, ext 1.
- Identify the animal.
- If the animal is a pet, get the owners’ information so Animal Control can contact them regarding vaccinations.
- If the pet has current vaccinations, it can be quarantined at the owners’ home. If the animal is not current on vaccinations or no owner can be located, the animal will be quarantined either at the Nebraska Humane Society or by a licensed veterinarian.
- Wild animals are sent for immediate rabies testing.
- Once testing or quarantine is finished, you will receive a report on the outcome.
- If the animal cannot be located, your physician can best advise you on steps to take medically.
- For more information, contact our rabies administrator at 402-905-3413 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. On weekends or evenings, contact dispatch at 402-444-7800, ext 1.
My Pet Has Bitten
- All pet animals who bite are required to be quarantined immediately after the incident, for 10 days of observation. This is not a punishment, it is health department protocol to make sure the pet did not transmit rabies to the bite victim.
- The bite victim should contact Animal Control at 402-444-7800, ext 1.
- If your pet has current shots, and the bite is not severe enough to designate the pet “dangerous,” he can be quarantined at your home. You will need to make an appointment for a post-rabies exam, with your veterinarian, on the date your quarantine is up. Once cleared by your vet, your pet can resume normal activity.
- If your pet’s shots are not current, he or she will be quarantined, either at the Nebraska Humane Society, or by a licensed veterinarian. At the end of the 10 day quarantine, NHS or the housing vet, will conduct a post rabies exam and if all is clear, then the pet can be taken home.
- For further information, contact the rabies administrator at 402-905-3413 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. On weekends or evenings, contact dispatch at 402-444-7800, ext 1.
Some pets in our community have injured others. Some are ticking time bombs. See what diligent owners need to know to keep everyone safe »