Central Racine County Health Department


Animal Bites and Rabies


Animal Bites
Per local municipal ordinance, any person having knowledge or reason to believe that any dog, cat or ferret has bitten a person, shall immediately report, so far as is known, the name and address of the owner of the animal and circumstances of such bite.  Such report shall be made to the municipal police department or Sheriff’s Department.

Any dog, cat or ferret which is believed to have bitten a person, to have been infected with rabies, or to have been in contact with a rabid animal shall be subject to the quarantine requirements and procedures set forth in Sec. 95.21, Wis. Statute.

For more information see our brochure on Animal Bites

Rabies is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system. It is transmitted from infected mammals to man and is invariably fatal once symptoms appear. Human rabies is rare in the United States, but still frequently occurs in many developing nations. The most recent case of human rabies in Wisconsin occurred in 2004; the latest case prior to that occurred in 2000.

Rabies is almost always contracted by exposure to a rabid animal. The exposure is nearly always through a bite, but rabies can also be transmitted if a rabid animal scratches a person or if its saliva comes into contact with broken skin.

Bites and scratches from bats may go unnoticed if a person is sleeping, is very young, or is mentally incapacitated.  The health department should be contacted if a bat is found in the same room with a young child, a sleeping person, or a mentally incapacitated adult.

See links below for more information: