ZMCHD responds to animal bite complaints and provides information on rabies immunizations.
Ohio law requires that "anyone who has knowledge" of a person that is bitten by an animal, specifically mammals, a bite incident report should be made to the health department in the jurisdiction where the bite occurred. This report should be made within 24 hours of the bite. The health department will then complete a rabies exposure risk assessment. If the animal is a species at risk for rabies, they may quarantine it for a certain period of time. Information from their investigation may provide timely medical care for the person bitten/exposed if rabies is found.
Animals that have bitten a human should not be destroyed, but should be quarantined (kept separate from other animals and people) for ten days to check for signs of rabies. Dog and cat bites are reported frequently to the Health Department.
Notification of Bite
The hospital, family doctor, police/sheriff, parent or victims notify the Health Department. Upon notification, a letter is sent to the owner of the animal. It is the owner's responsibility concerning quarantine and vaccination requirements.
Inspection(s) of Animal
The biting animal must be inspected by a veterinarian at the end of the 10-day quarantine period, and the inspection form must be completed by the veterinarian and submitted with the rabies vaccination report.
Enforcement ActionIf the owner fails to quarantine or vaccinate the animal in accordance with State and Board of Health regulations, the case is referred to the city solicitor or county prosecutor.
Email Matt Hemmer, RS or call 454-9741 extension 232.