The Washburn County Health Department sees an increase in the number of animal bites every summer, most likely because people and pets are outside enjoying the weather. “While July numbers have been typical, August is on track to set a record,” said Cheri Nickell, Health Officer. “This isn’t the kind of record we want to see. Animal bites cost the victim pain and suffering, are a financial burden for the owner, and take up a lot of Health Department staff time following up on the bites.”
Pet owners should have control of their animal at all times. If you have visitors to your home, put your pet in its crate, or in a room away from company, particularly if the animal is not used to being around anyone but family. If your dog normally runs loose in your yard when you are outside, be aware that summer may bring increased numbers of bikers and people walking their own dogs. If you are taking your pet with you for an outing, keep your pet on a leash and watch your pet for signs that he may be feeling frightened, protective, or aggressive. Remember, it’s up to you to not put your pet in a situation where it feels its only way to protect you or itself is to bite.
Any dog that bites must be quarantined for 10 days per state statute. If the dog does not have a current rabies vaccine, the quarantine must be done at a veterinary clinic.
For more information, or to report a dog bite, contact the Washburn County Health Dept. at 715-635-4400