Dog Bites

Del Norte County, as all California counties, has been declared to be a rabies county. This means that rabies has been found here. Therefore, it is very important, and it is the law, that all animal bites on humans are reported and appropriate quarantine of the biting animal occurs. This department, acting under the direction of the County Health Officer, is responsible for investigating dog bite complaints and initiating a 10-day quarantine period, during which the dog can be observed for signs of rabies. If the dog is licensed, as all should be, a record of rabies vaccination is checked to see if it is current. Even if it is current, a 10-day quarantine must be observed. The investigating Animal Control Officer determines if there is a suitable place at the dog owner’s home to quarantine the dog as the owner is the best judge if behavior changes occur. If the owner is not receptive or there is not a suitable place to quarantine, the Animal Control Officer has the authority to impound the animal at the County Animal Shelter. We cooperate with the County Health Department by taking specimens of suspect animals for rabies analysis and make reports to physicians on the health of quarantined dogs. Cat, large animal and wild animal bites are reported to the County Health Department.