In the State of Ohio, animal bites need to be reported within 24 hours to the local health department. Reports can be made by the person bitten, the owner of a biting animal, or a responding law enforcement officer. If a person who has been bitten seeks medical attention, these bites are reported by the healthcare facility. All information within the reporting form should be filled in. Contact information for all parties involved should be included in the report so that missing information can be filled in if needed.
What Happens Once Reported:
The Union County Health Department will send a letter to the owner of the biting animal informing them the biting animal is required to be placed under a 10-day (minimum) quarantine. The owner will also need to show proof of a current rabies vaccination for the biting animal.
QUARANTINE – During quarantine, the animal must be restrained at all times it is not in the home. Socialization outside immediate family members is not permissible. The animal should be housed separately from other household pets. The owner should watch for signs of rabies illness.
RABIES VACCINATION – If the animal is not current on its rabies shot, a rabies vaccination will be required AFTER the 10-day quarantine period. Do not administer the vaccination during the quarantine period. The rabies vaccination must be administered by a licensed veterinarian. If the dog is current on its vaccination prior to the bite incident, proof of the vaccination will be required. Acceptable means of proof are a copy of the certificate of rabies vaccination, or a copy of the animal’s rabies vaccination record from their veterinarian.
FOLLOW UP VISIT – Once the 10-day quarantine period has passed without the animal exhibiting signs of rabies, the animal must be seen by either a health department employee or a veterinarian to be released from quarantine. If the dog is not seen by a vet, please call (937) 642-2053 to set up an appointment for a Union County Health Department employee to visit the dog.
RELEASE FROM QUARANTINE – Once proof of vaccination is shown, the animal is seen by a veterinarian or a Union County Health Department employee, and the quarantine period has passed, the animal is released from quarantine and free to resume normal activities. Any animal that dies within the 10-day quarantine period, whether naturally or intentionally, must be submitted to the Ohio Department of Health laboratories for rabies testing. The owner must make arrangements for testing with the Union County Health Department.
Rabies Prevention & Protection Regulations for Union County, Ohio
The Union County Board of Health, at their October 13, 1993 meeting, adopted a Rabies Prevention & Protection Regulation for Union County, Ohio. As part of the regulation, any person who owns, keeps, or harbors a dog or ferret in Union County shall have that animal currently immunized against rabies. Any person who owns a cat in Union County shall have that animal under control. In the event of a rabies outbreak the Health Department may order the humane destruction of any unvaccinated dog, cat or ferret, and may immediately require the mandatory vaccination of all owned and harbored cats.