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. Unvaccinated dogs, cats, and ferrets exposed to a rabid animal should be euthanized immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should be placed in strict isolation for six months and vaccinated one month before being released. Animals with expired vaccinations need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Dogs and cats that are currently vaccinated are kept under observation for 45 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.