Environmental Health / Licensing

Animal Bites

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is transmitted typically by an animal to humans by a bite, but it can also be transmitted through a scratch. It is almost always fatal once the human presents with symptoms. Bats and skunks are the most likely animals to carry the rabies virus, however it can infrequently be carried by foxes, raccoons, livestock, and cats.

It's important to contact a healthcare provider if a bat is found in the same room as someone, especially if the person has been asleep because a bite or scratch may be hard to identify. View this fact sheet for more information about rabies transmission, symptoms, and what to do if you are exposed. 

Call the Menasha Police Department if you have been bitten by a stray dog, cat, or other animal. Do not destroy or release the animal until proper authorities have been contacted incase the animal needs to be submitted for rabies testing or quarantine. It's important to have your pet vaccinated against rabies incase your pet is involved in a bite or scratch incident. In the case of an animal bite, thoroughly clean the bite with soap and water immediately, and consult with your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Other considerations:
  • Ensure that your yard is free from items, structures, or other objects that may attract stray animals, like raccoons or skunks. Make sure that all outside openings are maintained and sealed to prevent bats from entering the attic or other wall spaces.
  • Talk with your children about leaving alone wild animals, stray dogs or cats to avoid an accidental bite or exposure.
Have you been bitten by an animal? Follow this link to complete the algorithm to see if a potential rabies exposure has occurred. 

Bats and Rabies Safety Information
Bats and Rabies - A Public Health Guide


Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Health Department
100 Main Street, Suite 100
Menasha, WI 54952
Phone: 920-967-3520
Fax: 920-967-5247

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Todd Drew, RS