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Mesa County Animal Services
Animal Bites  

Animal bites occur frequently and can be a serious public health problem. Bites can result in psychological trauma, transmission of various diseases including rabies, localized infection of the bite wound, permanent physical scarring or disfigurement and death.

If an animal bite occurs to a human, no matter how minor, it must be reported to Animal Services immediately with the following exceptions:

Bites of rodents, lagomorphs (rabbits and hares), birds and reptiles represent no rabies risk. Human bites involving other domestic or wild mammals are evaluated on a case by case basis. A separate policy exists for vaccination issues and management of bites involving wolf/dog hybrids.

Protect your animals and yourself. Provide an annual rabies vaccination for your pets. Rabies vaccinations must be administered by a licensed veterinarian and a record of the vaccination must be available in case of a bite by your animal.

Safety tips to avoid being bitten by a dog

  • Don't run past a dog. A dog's natural instinct is to chase.

  • Don't approach a strange dog!

  • Let a dog see and sniff you before you pet it.

  • Keep your dog confined.Chaining your dog is not recommended.

  • Spay or neuter your pet.Unaltered pets are more likely to bite.

  • Obedience train your dog.Obedience training will make a happy dog and a happy owner.

  • Scold your dog when it is aggressive. Tell it in no uncertain terms "NO"


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