Animal Bites

Info You Should Know

All animal bites that break the skin should be reported to Animal Services in a timely manner. If the bite was from a dog, cat or ferret, a mandatory 10 day quarantine also needs to be completed. If a pressure mark or bruise occurred, no bite report needs to be completed as the main concern is for the transmission of rabies which can only occur if the skin is broken. Only mammals have the possibility of transmitting rabies. In Colorado, there has not been a human case of rabies since 1931. The last reported dog case acquired in Colorado was in 1974 and there was one cat each in 2008 and 2010.

Both the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have additional rabies information and resources on their websites.

Prevention is Key

Tips for preventing dog bites include:
  • Stay calm around dogs. Don’t yell or run.
  • If a dog approaches you, stay still. Do not run away. Be a tree.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground by a dog, curl into a ball and cover your face and neck with your hands.
  • Do not get between fighting dogs.
  • If you see a dog behind a fence, leave it alone. Never try to pet a dog through or over a fence.
  • Ask before you pet and let the dog sniff your hand before you pet it.
  • Never chase, tease, hit or kick a dog. Do not pull a dog’s ears or tail.
  • Never wake up a sleeping dog by poking, pushing or hitting it.
  • Don’t pet, poke or pull a dog when it is eating.
  • Do not touch a mother dog or her puppies.
  • Never leave young children alone with a dog.