Animal Control Information: Guide for Handling Potential Rabies Exposure, Bats, Nuisance Wildlife and Collecting Surveillance Animals for Rabies Testing

Information supplied by the Lake County General Health District (440) 350-2543

Report Animal Bites and Scratches

Please report to the Health District wild animal vs. human, wild animal vs. pet, and pet vs. human encounters as potential rabies exposures for investigation. If the wild animal is available, it should be humanely destroyed and kept cool for rabies testing. An effort should be made to identify, locate, and contain a stray domestic animal that may have bitten or scratched a human.

Bats in Home

Please refer any concerns regarding bats found in a home, or human and pet exposures to the Health District. It is important that residents do not release a bat to the outdoors that was found in their home without first speaking to the Health District. If indoor bats are captured, care must be taken not to damage the brain.

Nuisance Wildlife

The Health District is unable to assist the public with removing nuisance animals from their home or yard. These are animals that do not appear to be ill, but my be comfortable living in close association with humans and homes. these animals may be trapped and euthanized (never release) either by the homeowner or a licensed nuisance animal trapper at the homeowner’s expense.

Collecting Strange-Acting or Sick Animals for Rabies Surveillance

  • DO NOT SHOOT ANIMALS IN THE HEAD. Brain tissue must not be damaged. Law enforcement officials should use caution when destroying animals and wear protective eyewear. Report any exposure to bites, saliva, or brain matter.
  • Animals must be relatively fresh with no maggots and have an intact head.
  • When handling dead animals, use universal precautions, e.g. gloves and shovels to avoid contact with the animal. Animals should be bagged and left in an obvious location.
  • For weekday pickup (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), call the Health District at (440) 350-2543. Personnel will be called to pick up the animal as soon as possible.
  • The Health District is available to train staff in personal protection when handling wild animal calls.
  • After hours and weekends, the Health District may be reached for an emergency by calling the answering service at (440) 974-5009.