What You Should Know About Rabies

Table of Contents

What is Rabies

Rabies is a deadly disease that all mammals, including people, can get. The rabies virus is present in the saliva of animals. When the skin is broken or punctured by a bite, the saliva can enter the blood stream of humans and other animals. If you are bitten by an animal carrying rabies, the disease may be passed on to you. A series of shots, given in the arm, are essential to prevent the disease in those exposed to rabies.

Protect Your Pet and Yourself Against Rabies

  • Cats, dogs, and ferrets should be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Wild animals, especially skunks, raccoons, and bats, should not be handled or disturbed.
  • Pets should be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard.
  • Don't touch strange dogs or cats.
  • Report all bites to the Police or Animal Control.

If You Are Bitten By Any Animal

  • Immediately wash with soap and water under a faucet for at least five minutes
  • Call your family doctor
  • Notify Police or Animal Control promptly and give the following information:
    • Name and address of animal owner, if known
    • Description of animal
    • Area where the incident occurred
    • Address where animal may be found, if known
    • Consult your veterinarian for additional animal health care information.

A printed version of this brochure is available. To obtain a brochure, contact DSI at 651-266-8989, email the DSI Message Center, or contact the Animal Control Center at 651-266-1100.