REPORT AN ANIMAL BITE
WHAT TO DO IF I HAVE BEEN BITTEN?
If bitten by an animal and the wound is serious call 9-1-1. If the bite is a less serious wound, immediately wash the wound with soap and water and contact your physician. Prevention and education are the keys to keeping you and your family safe from disease.
HOW DO I REPORT BITES?
You are required by law to report any bite or scratch from a domestic or wild animal.
If you have been a victim of an animal bite, you are required by law to report any bite or scratch that breaks the skin from a domestic or wild animal pursuant to California Code of Regulations Section 2606. Reporting allows the local public health authority to investigate whether the biting animal may have transmitted rabies to the bite victim.
• Report by fax. Download the appropriate form and fax to (805) 385-7312. Click here for form.
• Report by phone. Call our hotline (805) 385-7410 and be prepared to give details about the date of the bite, the victim, and on the biting animal (such as location, species, breed, and circumstance of bite). These details are very important in investigating risk of rabies transmission. Make sure to leave your contact information so that an Animal Safety Officer may contact you.
• Online Reporting. The online reporting is ONLY for Physicians, Veterinarians, and Animal Control Agencies. Bite reports should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I REPORT A BITE?
If the animal is located, it is evaluated for rabies either by a quarantine and observation period, or by testing its body after death. Most reported bites are inflicted by dogs and cats. Quarantine periods for dogs and cats are a minimum of 10 days. The quarantine requires the animal to be confined and isolated away from all animals and persons. Many owned biting animals complete their quarantine in their own home, if they can be kept securely on site. An officer observes and/or assesses the health of the animal at both the beginning and at the end of the quarantine period to check that the animal is not displaying symptoms or rabies. Biting wild animals of high-rabies-risk species (bat, skunk, fox, raccoon, coyote) are only tested, not quarantined.
QUESTIONS OR FURTHER INFORMATION
If you have any questions regarding animal bites or rabies contact, please call us at: (805) 385-7640.