Rabies is a disease caused by a virus carried in animals infected with the disease. It is spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal. Wild animals such as foxes, raccoons, bats, and rodents are the most common carriers. These animals sometimes infect house pets and humans.


The rabies virus can have an incubation period as long as six months. This depends on where the infected animal bites its victim. The rabies virus attaches to a nerve ending at the wound where it travels approximately 1cm per day until reaching the brain. After reaching the brain the victim will die or show symptoms within 10 days. The virus can also be spread during this time.


If you or your pet have been bitten by a wild or domestic animal call DHEC's local rabies control center at 803-285-7461.

Animal Control also assists in the capture and quarantine of stray animals. Please contact 803-283-3388 opt 4 to report an animal bite. The animal can be quarantined at Lancaster County Animal Shelter for a fee payable by the animal owner.

It is South Carolina state law that all dogs and cats have a current rabies vaccination. Rabies shots can only be given by a licensed veterinarian and animals are required to have their vaccination by 16 weeks of age.

Shelter fees for Quarantined Animals:

Quarantine Fee - $25.00

Daily Fee  -         $5.00

Euthanasia Fee - $10.00 



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