Animal Bites

Animal bites and prevention of rabies

A report must be submitted to Columbia County if a mammal bites a human being and the bite causes a break in the skin. Reporting is required by Oregon law (ORS 433.345; OAR 333-018-0015).

How to report an animal bite that occurred in Columbia County
If an animal bite occurs in Columbia County, you must report the incident. Complete this form and fax form to 888-204-8568 or email it to In addition, to prevent infection and transmission of disease, seek medical attention if an animal bites you and there is a break in the skin.

To report an animal bite that occurred in a DIFFERENT county
You must report the incident to the county where the bite occurred. To determine the appropriate contact information for the county where the bite happened, visit the Oregon Health Authority's local health authority directory.

Confinement and observation of animals following a bite
An animal that bites a human and breaks the skin must be confined and observed to ensure no rabies symptoms develop. Animals shall be confined and observed for 10 days from the date of the bite. Columbia County Animal Control and Public Health determine the appropriate place for observation and confinement.

Management of possibly rabid animals that have not bitten a human
Animals that have not bitten a human but are suspected of having rabies, or have been in close contact with another animal suspected of having rabies, will be managed according to OAR 333-019-0027. If you suspect an animal has rabies, or if you or your pet has been in close contact with an animal suspected of rabies, call the Columbia County Public Health Department at 503-397-7247. 

Prevention of Rabies
Vaccination of pets is the best way to prevent rabies. Dogs must be immunized against rabies by six months of age unless exempt under OAR 333-019-0017.

Public Health Quick Links
General Information
Phone Numbers
503-397-7247 24-hour Reporting 503-397-7247
Fax: 888-204-8568
Emergencies: Dial 911
230 Strand St.
Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30


Columbia County Public Health is committed to improving the quality of life and protecting the health and well-being of all residents by addressing social, economic, and environmental conditions. Our goal is to ensure that all people in Columbia County have the opportunity for a healthy life.