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Animal Bites/ Dangerous Dogs
City of Ennis Department of Health Services
A dog (cat, horse, raccoon, any mammal) bit me.
Out of concern of potental human or animal
exposure to the deadly rabes virus...
State law requires all animal bites or scratches to be reported to the local rabies control authority within the Health Department. Bites or scratches that break the skin will require the animal involved to be quarantined at a state approved facility for 240 hours (10 days). This process is used to determine if the rabies virus was transmittable at the time of the bite. Rabies can be fatal to humans and animals, making this our highest priority to protecting public health and safety. If a stray animal bites or scratches a person, and we are not able to locate the animal's owner within 72 hours, the animal is humanely euthanized and tested for rabies.
Regardless of the vaccination status of the animal at the time of the bite, the biting animal must be placed in quarantine for 10 days from the day of the bite. Quarantine means placing the animal in a facility that provides:
- “Isolation” means that the animal under observation must be prevented from coming into contact with people or animals other with people or animals other than members of the immediate family, so there should be no contact with visitors. The animal should not leave your property, even for walks or rides in the car.
An Animal Services Officer must observe the animal on the first and last day of the observation period. You should ensure that Animal Service Officer will be able to view your pet on those days, but if you are not able to do so, then you must contact the Department of Health Services to make further arrangements. The final health check will occur on the eleventh day after the date of the incident. Failure to complete the final health check will result in citations being issued.
State law requires owners to pay for quarantine. Quarantine must be in a Texas Department of Health approved animal shelter, veterinary clinic or the home of the animal's owner, provided it is an in-family bite and the animal is currently vaccinated and licensed, with the approval of the local rabies control authority.
NOTE: All dogs and cats at least 4 months of age or older are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies vaccinations must be administered by a veternarian at any vet or wellness clinic, and current vaccination records will need to be provided to the Department upon request.
Disposition of Domestic Animals Exposed to Rabies
Sometimes, domestic animals such as dogs or cats may come in contact with or may have been bitten or scratched by a known carrier of rabies such as a skunk, bat, coyote, fox or raccoon. Texas law states that, all dogs and cats that have been bitten by, directly exposed by physical contact with, or directly exposed to the fresh tissues of a rabid animal to be euthanized; or immediately vaccinated for rabies, placed into confinement for a period of 90 days and given a booster at the third and eighth weeks of confinement if the animal is NOT currently vaccinated for rabies. If the animal is currently vaccinated for rabies the animal must be euthanized or immediately given a booster rabies vaccination and placed in confinement for 45 days. If your animal is vaccinated for rabies, please be ready to present a current rabies vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian to animal control. A rabies tag is not valid proof that your animal has been vaccinated against rabies.
If bitten or exposed to rabies: please contact the Health Department between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. M - F at 972.875.1234; visit our office at 500 Lake Bardwell Drive Ennis, Texas 75120 or by Email. After hours contact the Ennis Police Department at 911.
Additional Rabies Resources:
- Download the Bats & Rabies Public Health Guide
- Download the Bats in Schools Poster
- When Should I Seek Medical Attention?
For Dangerous Dogs
Additionally, you may complete a sworn affidavit to request a dangerous dog hearing if the dog caused serious bodily injury to you/another person. To obtain additional information regarding the dangerous dog hearing process please contact our office.