All potential rabies exposures must be reported to the Livingston County Department of Health. Exposures can be reported by phone at (585)243-7280, or click here to fill out a report online.
So what kind of contact counts as an exposure?
• A person, a pet, or a livestock animal is bitten by an animal (even if the biting animal is a pet, and even if the animals are vaccinated)
• A person, a pet, or a livestock animal is exposed to the saliva or nervous tissue (brain or spinal fluid) of a sick animal or a wild or feral animal
• A person wakes up to a bat in their sleeping room, or a bat is found in a room with a very young child or nonverbal adult
If you do not know if an animal contact counts as an exposure, call 243-7280.
We are not the Pet Police! A bite report does not mean an animal (or their owner) is “in trouble.” The purpose of bite reporting is to protect the health and safety of both humans and animals. Most cases are very simple and handled by phone. If it is determined that a person needs treatment for rabies exposure, the Health Department will assist them in obtaining and paying for treatment.
Testing an animal for rabies can prevent unnecessary treatment. Whenever a wild or feral animal is involved, every effort should be made to capture or collect the animal for testing. If an animal is killed, preventing damage to the brain is important to allow for testing.
If you think you have been exposed to a bat as outlined above, it is very important to try to catch the bat. DO NOT RELEASE THE BAT unless the Health Department tells you to. Here’s a helpful video on how to capture a bat:
If you need help capturing an animal after a rabies exposure, you can hire a wildlife control operator. Click here for a list of licensed operators.