(a) Notice. - When a person has been bitten by an animal required to be vaccinated under this Part, the person or parent, guardian or person standing in loco parentis of the person, and the person owning the animal or in control or possession of the animal shall notify the local health director immediately and give the name and address of the person bitten and the owner of the animal. If the animal that bites a person is a stray or feral animal, the local agency responsible for animal control shall make a reasonable attempt to locate the owner of the animal. If the owner cannot be identified within 72 hours of the event, the local health director may authorize the animal be euthanized, and the head of the animal shall be immediately sent to the State Laboratory of Public Health for rabies diagnosis. If the event occurs on a weekend or State holiday the time period for owner identification shall be extended 24 hours.
A physician who attends a person bitten by an animal known to be a potential carrier of rabies shall report the incident within 24 hours to the local health director. The report must include the name, age, and sex of the person.
(b) Confinement. - When an animal required to be vaccinated under this Part bites a person, the animal shall be immediately confined for 10 days in a place designated by the local health director. The local health director may authorize a dog trained and used by a law enforcement agency to be released from confinement to perform official duties upon submission of proof that the dog has been vaccinated for rabies in compliance with this Part. After reviewing the circumstances of the particular case, the local health director may allow the owner to confine the animal on the owner's property. An owner who fails to confine an animal in accordance with the instructions of the local health director shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. If the owner or the person who controls or possesses the animal that has bitten a person refuses to confine the animal as required by this subsection, the local health director may order seizure of the animal and its confinement for 10 days at the expense of the owner. (1935, c. 122, s. 17; 1941, c. 259, s. 11; 1953, c. 876, s. 13; 1957, c. 1357, s. 9; 1977, c. 628; 1983, c. 891, s. 2; 1985, c. 674; 1989, c. 298; 1993, c. 539, s. 950; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2009-327, s. 11.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014