Animal bite reporting and rabies quarantine are the number one priority at Animal Control. Although we seldom hear of people contracting this fatal disease, rabies is a very real problem in many areas. Most recently, rabies has been reported at epidemic levels in wildlife in the North Eastern States. Any animal bitten or scratched by either a wild, carnivorous mammal or a bat that is not available for testing should be regarded as having been exposed to rabies.
Rabies is fatal, and all mammals are susceptible to the disease. Even indoor pets can come in contact with rabid bats, one of the most likely carriers. By vaccinating domestic pets, we establish a barrier between possibly rabid wildlife and our families. You can help Lee County be "rabies-free".
How to Prevent Rabies
Report any animal bite or sick wild animal, avoid handling wild animals, and keep domestic pets up to date with preventive rabies inoculations. Contact your veterinarian for your dog or cats’ rabies inoculation and other preventive vaccinations for your pets’ good health. All dogs and cats four (4) months or older must be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies can be transmitted to humans and is fatal unless a series of anti-rabies shots are taken. Therefore, the law protects both humans and pets from this disease.
5-1-4: Rabies Control
- Dog Bites; Proceedings Against Owner: On all reported dog bites where the dog has not been vaccinated as prescribed by law, proceedings will be initiated against the dog owner by the administrator or deputy administrators. (1983 Code Section 4-16)
- Testing Paid By County: The county will pay for sending in tissue samples where there is a definite exposure or clinical evidence of rabies as determined by the administrator. (1983 Code Section 4-1)
The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear. Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hydrophobia (fear of water)
- Hypersalivation (increase in saliva)
- Slight or partial paralysis