Dog bites, cat bites, or any incidents involving a warm-blooded mammal, either domesticated or wild, breaking the skin of a person need to be reported to Animal Control immediately. While rabies transmission is rare among domesticated animals, it is still found today and it is fatal to humans. Steps to take if bitten:
- Identify the animal if possible. This is vital. If the animal is a pet, a quick check with the owner and veterinarian will indicate whether or not it has been vaccinated.
If no animal can be located, the victim will usually be encouraged to undergo preemptive rabies shots. Although not as painful as they were in the past, rabies shots are expensive, unpleasant, and best avoided if possible.
- Seek necessary medical treatment for the victim.
- Contact Animal Control at 605-367-7000. Officers will explain the procedures and issue any necessary citations.
- Animal Control quarantines the biter. All pet animals identified as having bitten are to be quarantined for a period of ten days for observation. If the animal has a current rabies vaccination, the animal was on its own property, and has not been designated “dangerous,” it can be quarantined at the owner’s home. If the animal has no rabies vaccination, it happened off property, or no owner can be located, the animal will be quarantined at Sioux Falls Area Humane Society or by a licensed veterinarian. Wild animals are sent for immediate rabies testing.
- Reporting the outcome. Once testing or quarantine is done, victims will receive a report on the outcome.