Report an Animal Bite

You are required by law to report any bite or scratch from a domestic or wild animal

According to Orange County Codified Ordinance 4-1-62 Duty to Report, "Any person having knowledge of the location of an animal suspected of having rabies, or of any person having been bitten or scratched by any warm-blooded mammal, or of any signs of disease or unusual behavior in any animal under quarantine, shall immediately report such facts to the Director." 
 
Report an animal bite or scratch from a domestic or wild animal by calling 714-796-6421.

Biting animals can carry Rabies

When any warm-blooded animal breaks the skin of a human with its teeth, the human may be exposed to Rabies. This is not a statement of the animal's behavior or of a person's negligence or liability; it is a public health issue for the prevention of a fatal disease called Rabies.

Quarantine

OC Animal Care and the State of California requires that a domestic animal involved in a bite, or scratch caused by teeth, to a person be quarantined for ten (10) days. The quarantine requires the animal to be confined and isolated away from all animals and persons.  Depending on a variety of factors, the quarantine may be carried out at the owner's premises, or at the OC Animal Care Center. An officer observes and/or assesses the health of the animal at both the beginning and at the end of the quarantine period to check that the animal is not displaying symptoms of rabies.  If the animal remains healthy for the ten (10) day period, it could not have been shedding the rabies virus in its saliva at the time of the bite.

Types of quarantines

  • Animal vs. human: When any warm-blooded mammal breaks the skin of a human with its teeth, the human may be exposed to Rabies.
  • Pet vs. wildlife: When a pet dog/cat has come in physical contact with a wild mammal e.g. skunk, bat, raccoon, etc.  Extended quarantine period required.
  • Government: When an animal comes into our jurisdiction from another country without an approved state Rabies vaccine.  Extended quarantine period required.

If bitten by an animal, immediately wash the wound with soap and water and contact your physician. Prevention and education are the keys to keeping you and your family safe from disease.

Questions or Further Information

If you have any questions regarding animal bites or rabies contact:

County of Orange Rabies Control Desk

714-796-6421
Monday through Friday from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm

714-935-7158 after hours, weekends and holidays