Animal Bites

What does that mean for the animal?

When a domestic pet (dog, cat, squirrel, rat, etc.) bites a human, that animal must be placed in quarantine for 10 days.

What does it mean to quarantine an animal?

“Quarantine” means to keep the animal away from people and other animals that it is not normally around. The animal needs to be kept on the owner’s property and to stay in Tillamook County for 10 days, or placed in a public facility such as the Humane Society or a veterinarian’s clinic.

If the animal has valid rabies shots and the bite was below victim’s shoulder, owner can release the animal from quarantine 10 days from the date of the bite, if the animal is healthy.

If the animal caused a serious bite to the victim’s neck or head, only a Public Health Sanitarian can release the animal from quarantine. An animal without valid rabies shots must be placed in quarantine in a public facility outside the home and a Public Health Sanitarian will release the animal.

What happens if it is a wild animal?

If a wild animal (squirrels, rats, feral cats, bats, etc.) causes a bite, follow-up cannot be done unless the animal can be captured and placed in quarantine. The victim should cleanse the wound well and get medical treatment, if needed.

What do I do if I am exposed to a bat?

If you do have an exposure (e.g. bite) from a bat, immediately clean the wound and contact the Tillamook County Community Health Centers at 503-842-3900.  If the bat has been captured, do not crush the bat or throw it away, as intact bats can be tested for rabies, which can avoid post-exposure rabies shots.  If you have had contact and are unsure if you have been bitten contact the Health Department.

What happens if the animal becomes ill in quarantine?

If an animal in quarantine becomes ill or the owner notices unusual behavior in the animal, this should be reported to the authorities immediately.

How do I report an animal bite?

To report an animal bite within Tillamook County, contact the Tillamook County Animal Control office. During business hours: 503-842-2522. After business hours: 503-842-1911.

For information regarding rabies, visit the following website: Oregon Health Authority: Rabies.