What do I do if I am bitten by an animal?

Don’t panic, but don’t ignore the bite, either. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and lots of water. Washing thoroughly will greatly lessen the chance of infection. Give first aid as you would for any wound. If possible, capture the animal under a large box or can, or at least identify it before it runs away. Don’t try to pick the animal up. Call an animal control or law enforcement officer to come and get it.

If it’s a wild animal that must be killed, don’t damage the head. The brain will be needed to test for rabies. Don’t let anyone destroy wild animals at random just because there may be a rabies outbreak in your area. Only a few wild animals will actually be carrying rabies.

It’s critically important that you notify your family doctor immediately after an animal bite. You may contact the Health Department or York County Animal Services to find out if the animal has been captured. If necessary, your doctor will give the anti-rabies treatment recommended by the United States Public Health Service. Your doctor will also treat you for other possible infections that could be caused from the bite. Report the bite to the Animal Control Services at 757-890-3601 and to the local health department as well. In Williamsburg, this number is 757-603-4277. The number for all other areas on the Virginia lower Peninsula is 757-594-7340.

Show All Answers

1. Where can I purchase a dog license?
2. Are cats required to be licensed?
3. What if I or someone I know are missing a pet?
4. Does the Animal Service Bureau take care of spiders, mice, lizards, or flying and buzzing insect pests?
5. What do I do if I find a dead animal?
6. What do I do if I am bitten by an animal?
7. What do I do it my pet bites someone?
8. What is rabies?
9. Can humans have rabies?
10. What can I do to help control rabies?
11. Who is responsible for enforcing wildlife related laws?
12. What if I experience nuisance wildlife at my home or in my area?
13. Is caring for injured or orphaned wildlife a good idea?