Rabies is a rare and preventable disease that is primarily spread through animal bites, although it can also be contracted by handling an animal with rabies. If you receive treatment on a timely basis after exposure to rabies, you can expect to be fine. If you do not receive treatment, rabies is fatal. It is vital for you to report any animal bites as soon as they happen. In the past, rabies treatments for humans were a series of extremely painful shots. Today, those shots are not more painful than most vaccines you will receive during your lifetime.

In Oregon, bats are by far the most common carrier of rabies. However, any mammal can have rabies. If you have been bitten by a wild animal of any kind, it is important to seek assistance. It is also important to seek assistance if you have been bitten by a dog or a cat. If you have been bitten by an animal or exposed to a bat, call 503-846-3594.

Dogs and cats that have bitten someone will be observed for 10 days from the date of the bite for signs of rabies.

By law, all dogs in Washington County are required to be vaccinated against this deadly disease. Licenses and license renewals are issued after you have proof from your veterinarian that your dog has been vaccinated against rabies.

The best way to prevent rabies is for dogs and cats to be vaccinated against the disease.