If you are bitten by an animal and the bite is serious enough to require medical attention, you should go directly to a health care provider. This includes bites from pets like cats and dogs, as well as bites from wildlife.
Your health care provider should fill out a Bite Report and fax it to us at (517) 546-9627.
If you did not seek medical attention, you should call the Health Department at (517) 546-9850 to complete a Bite Report. Our office will be forwarded the report and in cases where the owner of the animal is known, an Animal Control Officer will visit both the victim and the pet owner to notify them of bite case procedures.
Some wild animals are rarely infected with rabies and have not been known to transmit the disease to humans. These animals include: chipmunks, gerbils, gophers, squirrels, guinea pigs, hamsters, moles, shrews, mice, muskrats, voles, rabbits, rats, and prairie dogs. As a result, the species listed above will not be tested by the state lab, except under extenuating circumstances.
Other animals, like fox, opossum, raccoons, and woodchucks have been known to carry rabies. Contact the Health Department and they will decide if the animal should be tested.
What should I do if my pet bites someone?
If your pet bites someone, please call us (517) 546-2440. If you are calling about your dog, please have information about its current rabies vaccination and Michigan dog license ready. We’ll ask you about the situation that occurred, so please also have information about the severity of the bite and what contributed to the bite.
If my pet bites someone, will you take my pet away from me?
Not necessarily. We do not remove every pet that bites. If the animal is a stray dog or cat, we will confiscate them. Otherwise, the pet will be left in the owner’s home for a 10 day quarantine period and an Animal Control Officer will discuss the bite report process with the pet owner. However, if your dog or cat has a long and reported bite history, you could face prosecution for having a vicious animal.
My neighbor's dog bit me and they refuse to pay my medical bills. Can Animal Control help?
No. Our Animal Control Officers are only able to check and make sure the dog who bit has a current rabies vaccination and Michigan dog license and that the dog is being quarantined at home for 10 days.
Disputes over medical bills are between you and the other party. You may wish to contact your attorney and file a civil suit.
Animal Control can provide you with a copy of the dispatch call and the Animal Control Officer’s findings if you need to go to court. This information should be requested via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. This information can be provided to you within 10 days.
My neighbor's dog killed my pet or livestock. Can Animal Control help?
Animal Control can help you document the incident and ensure that the dog in question has a current rabies vaccination and Michigan dog license.
If the dog is loose upon arrival of the Animal Control Officer and the owner is not home, it will be impounded at the Livingston County Animal Shelter and the owner will be ticketed and required to pay the necessary impound fees and other potential fines.
We cannot help you with disputes over medical bills, damages, or other claims. These types of issues are between you and the neighbor and you may wish to contact your attorney and file a civil suit.
My neighbor's dog destroyed something on my property and I want my neighbor to pay for it. Can Animal Control help?
No. Our Animal Control Officers can pick up a stray dog that is on your property, but any damage to your property caused by your neighbor’s dog is between you and your neighbor. You may wish to contact your attorney and file a civil suit.