Reporting an Animal Bite

It is the responsibility of a person bitten by an animal, or the parent or guardian of a minor bitten by an animal, to report the bite to a physician and/or the Adair County Health Department immediately.

Please have the following information prior to reporting:

  • Name and address of the animal’s owner (if available)
  • Date, time, and location of the bite incident
  • Location on the body where the person was bitten
  • General description of the biting animal

The report should be made to the Adair County Health Department at 660-665-8491 during normal business hours 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.

After normal business hours or on weekends and holidays report to the Emergency Room (if necessary) or contact local law enforcement.

Although the possibility is remote, the biting animal may be infected with the rabies virus. Domestic animals involved in bite incidents must be observed for 10 days to ensure that they do not have rabies infection. Wild animals, for example, bats, raccoons, and skunks may also be infected with the rabies virus. If the domestic animal can’t be observed for 10 days or if the bite was from a wild animal not available for laboratory analysis a vaccine for humans is available to safeguard the bitten person from developing rabies infection. If the shots are not given and the biting animal was suffering from rabies there is a high probability that the person bitten will contract rabies. Rabies infections that develop in humans are 100% fatal. Therefore, it is urgent that bites be promptly reported so that medical guidance can be immediately given.

Don't Panic

If you report the bite promptly there is plenty of time for treatment.