Animal Bites

If you or your pet has been bitten by another animal please take a moment to review the following information.

Take Photos

If you or your pet is bitten by an animal, no matter how minor it seems, start taking photos of the animal that caused the bite. It only takes seconds to do but these photos can help identify the animal later. Then take photos of where you are. Get street signs, house numbers and take photos of anything that will identify where the bite occurred. These might be needed by animal control.

Information from the Owner

If the owner is on site, get the owner’s name, address, and phone number. Ask for the animal’s name, age, breed, or mixture of breeds (not to blame the breed but for identification). Ask for the animal’s regular veterinarian so animal control can contact them for vaccination information; especially rabies. If the dog or cat is licensed and is wearing a tag, ask the owner to give you that information too.

Get Medical Care

Even if the bite is minor, call your doctor or your pets’ veterinarian for an appointment within 24 hours. If that’s not possible, go to an urgent care or emergency room or emergency veterinary hospital. Bites can become infected without medical care. If you are more severely injured, contact the police and an officer may contact an ambulance.

Call Animal Control

Once you have received medical care or veterinary care and you’re home, call your local animal control and report the bite. For bites occurring between mile marker 0 - 16.7 you’ll need to call our Key West Office. For bites occurring between mile marker 16.7 - 70 you’ll need to call our Marathon Office.

When a bite is reported, animal control can verify if the animal is up to date on vaccinations, including rabies. Some people don’t want to file a report with animal control or call the police because the dog owner might be a neighbor, or the dog may belong to a friend. Keep in mind that reporting a bite is usually required by law.

The department of health requires that involved animals be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days for an observation period at the expense of the owner. Based on vaccination status one or more animals involved, including your own, may have to be quarantined at home, at one of our locations or at a veterinarian of your choosing. Rabies control and prevention is an important part of any bite report. During the 10 day observation period, no rabies vaccine shall be administered to the animal. Once the 10 days have passed, an animal control officer will return to the confined location to verify that the animal is still healthy and release the animal from confinement. 

What do I do if my animal or I am bitten or scratched by a wild animal?

Seek a health professional or veterinarian as soon as possible. Contact one of our locations based on where the bite occurred to report the incident. If your pet was bitten by a wild animal it will be placed on quarantine dependent on your animals’ vaccination status. Vaccinated and non vaccinated pets will be placed on an extended quarantine beyond the 10 day minimum period in domestic animal bites.