PUBLIC HEALTH QUESTION OF THE MONTH
Monmouth County Regional Health Commission No. 1
July 25, 2017
If my dog bites someone,
will it be taken away?
When a dog or any domestic animal bites someone the Local Health Department must insure that the dog was not capable of transmitting rabies to the person bitten. Even animals that are currently vaccinated need to be followed since not all vaccines are 100% effective. The Health Department representative will ask the dog’s owner to keep the dog secured in the owner’s home, away from the general public and other animals for a 10 day period. The owner of the dog has the option to quarantine the dog at a kennel or shelter if desired. In either case, when the dog is taken outside, it must be on a leash and under the control of an adult until the end of the quarantine period, when the representative will visit the home and sign the release form. Generally speaking, the health department does not evaluate temperament as this task is left to the Animal Control Officer (ACO) should one be involved in the case. Occasionally the ACO will require quarantine at a kennel or shelter for the safety of family members and the community in cases of unprovoked attacks.
Short answer, “No, the Health Department will not take your dog away.”