Rabies Information

What is rabies?

Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is typically found in skunks, raccoons, bats, coyotes and foxes but other animals and humans can become infected if they are bitten by an infected animal. If someone encounters any of the “high-risk” animals exhibiting strange behavior such as: aggressiveness, restlessness, motor skill impairment or anything else unusual, stay away and report the animal to DeSoto Animal Control at 972.274.CITY.


City Ordinance mandates that all dogs and cats be currently vaccinated against rabies, and the rabies tag must be affixed to the pet’s collar or harness. Lack of proof of rabies could result in a citation. Call your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s vaccination status.

Any animal bitten or scratched by either a wild, carnivorous mammal or bat that is not available for testing should be regarded as having been exposed to rabies. Un-vaccinated animals exposed to a rabid animal should be euthanized humanely. The owner of such animal  may, at the owner's expense and in a manner prescribed by the local animal control authority, confine said animal. Such animal must be vaccinated immediately following exposure and quarantined in strict isolation for not less than six months. A re-vaccination shall be done one month prior to release from quarantine. Animals that are currently vaccinated must be re-vaccinated immediately and confined kept under observation for a period not less than 90 days.

What to do if you are bitten

  • Notify DeSoto Animal Control at 972.274.CITY immediately or as soon as possible. On the weekend or after business hours, call 972.223.6111
  • Wash the wound with lots of soap and running water.
  • Go to a physician or emergency room immediately if the bite is severe or bleeding.
  • In any case, notify your physician that an animal bit you.
  • Make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus vaccination.
  • Take antibiotics if your physician prescribes them.
  • If possible and without causing further injury, try to identify or capture the biting animal.