When threatened, scared or put into a compromising situation, any dog is capable of biting a human or other animal. Each year, dogs bite approximately 4.5 million Americans, with almost one-half of those incidents involving animals owned by the victim’s family or neighbors.
If you or your pet are bitten in St. Charles County, immediately take time to thoroughly wash the area with soap and warm water, receive medical assistance for a more severe injury, and report the bite to the Division of Humane Services. When making this report, please include as much information as possible, including:
- The name and address of the owner of the animal
- The date, time, and location of the bite incident
- The location on the body where the person was bitten
- A general description of the biting animal
Reporting an Animal Bite
It is the responsibility of a person bitten by an animal, or the parent or guardian of a minor (or pet) bitten by an animal, to report the bite to the St. Charles County Division of Humane Services (636-949-7387) during normal business hours. After normal business hours, on weekends, or on holidays, please contact the St. Charles County Police Department by phone at 636-949-3000, a municipal Animal Control unit or your local law enforcement agency.
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. Wild animals (for example bats, raccoons or skunks) may also be infected with the rabies virus, so it is important to contact a medical provider and proper authorities immediately after being bitten by a wild animal.
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 almost always fatal. Therefore, it is urgent that bites be promptly reported so that medical guidance can be immediately given.