Animal Bite & Potential Rabies Exposure Incidents
In 2019 Miami-Dade County implemented the OTTER program, a three year oral rabies vaccine distribution effort to protect wildlife from the rabies virus. Edible vaccine packets are distributed throughout the County twice annually targeting raccoons, foxes and coyotes. More than one million doses of the edible rabies vaccine have been distributed since the oral targeted treatment of emergent rabies (OTTER) program began.
Since implementation of the OTTER Program the number of rabies cases documented in Miami-Dade County has decreased by 73%. Rabies is most frequently transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. To provide transparency and educate the public, the County has published the dashboard below to promote awareness of potential rabies exposure incidents due to an animal bite. The dashboard is powered by data submitted by individuals who have reported an animal bite through the Animal Bite Report.
If you or someone you know has suffered from an animal bite, please report it to the Animal Services Department by completing the Animal Bite Report. All animal bite cases should also be referred to the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County at 305-324-2400. You can visit the Florida Department of Health website to see number of Confirmed Rabies.
Aside from our lifesaving mission, we also enforce Chapter 5 of the Miami-Dade County Code and Florida Statute 828 (which deals primarily with animal cruelty issues).
Our activities include licensing, enforcing rabies vaccination requirements, spay and neuter services, vaccination services for pets, protecting the public from stray and dangerous dogs, promoting animal adoption and public education, and investigating animal cruelty cases.
In 2015, Miami-Dade County Animal Services first achieved its lifesaving goal of saving greater than 90 percent of animals entering the shelter. This is a testament to the incredible hard work of the shelter team every day and the addition of new lifesaving programs to include partnerships with rescue organizations, improved pet welfare, foster programs, offsite adoption events, surrender prevention and more.
The Miami-Dade Animal Services Department encourages the public to view our annual animal statistics information, which shows shelter population based on the Asilomar Accords and other methods for calculating the number of animal lives that are saved.
In August 2004, a group of animal welfare industry leaders from around the nation convened at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California to build bridges across varying philosophies, develop relationships and establish goals focused on reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals in the United States. The Asilomar Accords established record-keeping and reporting standards for data associated with shelter animals. To help increase life-saving opportunities, Miami-Dade Animal Services has created a variety of new programs aimed at achieving the highest save rates in the history of the department.