Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease. It can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal. In the United States, rabies is mostly found in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. However, in many other countries dogs still carry rabies, and most rabies deaths in people around the world are caused by dog bites.

Under Kentucky Revised Statute 258.065 all incidents involving person(s) bitten by animals must be reported to the Health Department within twelve (12) hours after the physician’s first attendance. Complete the Animal Bite Report and fax (859) 744-0338. If the person bitten does not know the name and address of the animal owner, you may instruct them to find out and call the health department with the information at (859) 744-1488.

All dogs and cats reported to have bitten any person within the county are quarantined. This is done in an effort to prevent rabies in the human population and to prevent the spread of rabies in the animal population. Most bites are the result of encounters with dogs or cats, but other pets and wild animals are reported and managed appropriately. Biting animals are quarantined for ten (10) days for observation of rabies.

Animals which stay well during the ten-day period are released. Those animals which become sick are humanely euthanized and tested in the Lab at the University of Kentucky.