Animal bites can spread rabies and other diseases. When a person or pet is bitten by an animal, the bite must be reported to the health department. This is true whether the animal is a pet or wild. Prompt reporting allows the health department to take preventive action and reduce the risk for further exposure.
All bite wounds should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water as soon as possible. Contact your healthcare provider for further instructions and treatment.
Report an Animal Bite
Animal bites must be reported to the health department within 24 hours, per Ohio Administrative Code. Animal bites can be reported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To report an animal bite, complete the following form and submit it to the health department in person, via email at [email address], or by fax. Bites can also be reported by phone by calling the health department’s primary number, (419) 342-5226. After-hours reports will be routed to the appropriate staff member.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a viral disease found in mammals. Rabies is 100% fatal in humans that develop symptoms. Prompt medical treatment following exposure can prevent development of symptoms. People can be exposed to rabies if they are bitten, scratched, or exposed to saliva from an infected animal, the bite or scratch breaks or punctures the skin, or saliva from an infected animal comes in contact with an open wound or mucous membranes. Animals most often associated with rabies include bats, raccoons, skunks, opossums, foxes, dogs, and cats. If you believe you’ve been exposed, seek immediate medical treatment at the nearest hospital or urgent care center. Rabies can be prevented by prompt medical treatment following an exposure to a rabid animal.
Bites or scratches by wild or exotic carnivorous animals such as raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, opossum, ground hog, deer, wolf, wolf hybrids, bats, lions, tigers, bears, etc., require that the animal be euthanized and the head removed at the owner’s expense. The head will be sent to the Ohio Department of Health for rabies examination, with the cost of testing paid by the owner.
Other wild animals such as chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, rats, and mice have not been known to transmit the rabies virus to humans. All bites should be treated as potential exposure to rabies. Ohio Administrative Code requires that all animal bites be reported to the health department within 24 hours of bite. The health department notifies the owner of the animal regarding the 10-day quarantine period.
What to do if you’ve been exposed:
If you believe you’ve been exposed to rabies, follow the following steps:
- Contact your healthcare provider immediately or seek medical attention at the nearest hospital or urgent care center.
- Report the bite to the health department within 24 hours.
- Quarantine the animal, if possible. Animals with suspected rabies should be quarantined for ten (10) days. If the animal dies during the quarantine period or begins to show signs and symptoms of rabies, immediately contact the health department. If you wish to have an animal tested, contact the health department.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rabies Information
Ohio Department of Health Rabies Information
Diseases spread by mosquitoes are an annual concern across Ohio. While most mosquitoes are a nuisance but not a major disease risk, those that can transmit diseases can be very serious. To reduce mosquito exposure in Shelby, the health department provides mosquito larvae control materials as needed and conducts an annual mosquito control program.
Ohio Department of Health Mosquito Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention West Nile Virus Information
Ticks are parasites that survive by feeding on the blood of animal hosts, including humans. Ticks can significant impact the quality of life and health for humans and pets. Some tick species spread diseases that can cause illness or death. Proper tick protection, and removal if a tick is identified on a person or pet, is critical to preventing infection. While year-round prevention is a good idea, you should be extra vigilant in the warmer months when ticks are most active.
Ohio Department of Health Tick Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tick Bite Prevention