How to handle an animal bite

How to handle an animal bite
Posted on 04/12/2021

In 2020, Animal Control received approximately 30 reports of animal bites (mostly dog bites). Of those cases, most bite victims live in the same household as the biting dog or were visiting the home where the dog lives.

In cases involving a dog that bites a “stranger,” such as someone it passes on the sidewalk, the following steps should be taken by all involved persons, no matter the severity of the bite:

  • The dog owner/caretaker and the dog-bite victim should exchange names and contact information. This includes address, telephone number, and name of involved animal.
  • Both the dog owner/caretaker and the dog-bite victim should notify Animal Control as soon as practical, by calling 913.477.7385. In the event of serious injury, seek medical attention first.

According to Lenexa City Ordinance 3-2-D-11, “When any animal has bitten or attacked any person within the City, or when an animal is suspected of having rabies, it shall be the duty of any person having knowledge of such facts to report the same immediately to Animal Control.”

Animal Control has had cases in which dog-bite victims don’t realize the extent of the bite until they get home and see that the bite broke the skin or the affected area begins to swell or bruise. When information is not exchanged, Animal Control has difficulty trying to locate the biting animal and verify its vaccination status. Being able to verify an animal’s vaccination status can prevent the bite victim from having to undergo post-exposure rabies shots that can be painful and costly.

Most bite reports are completed by determining a dog’s vaccination status and placing the animal in 10-day quarantine at its home residence for rabies observation.

So remember this — treat any incident with an unfamiliar dog like a minor vehicle crash and exchange names and phone numbers with the owner of the dog. If you realize afterward that you or your pet are injured, you will be able to contact that owner or Lenexa Animal Control directly for assistance.

Published April 12, 2021