What happens when a dog or cat bites someone?

When the skin of a human is penetrated or broken by the teeth or claws of a dog or cat, it is required by law to be reported due to the concern for possible exposure to the rabies virus.  Rabies is communicable to humans by the saliva from an infected animal.  Animals that have bitten or scratched, are required by law to be quarantined for ten days from the date of the bite.  If the biting/scratching animal is currently vaccinated for rabies it may qualify for a home quarantine.  Home quarantine is not authorized in the following instances:
  • If a dog was roaming at large when the bite/scratch occurred
  • Dogs or cats that are not current on their rabies vaccination at the time of the bite/scratch
  • Safety reasons
These animals are required to be quarantined at WCRAS or at a veterinary hospital for public safety.
That’s why it’s important to keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date based on the requirements in the rabies compendium published by the NASPHV.