Animal Services in the City of De Pere

De Pere Health Department provides education to ensure safe and healthy relationships between humans and animals.

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Bites & Rabies Prevention

What is rabies?

Rabies is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of an animal infected with the rabies virus. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system of mammals, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. Most rabies cases reported each year occur in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes, although any mammal can get rabies.

What animals get rabies?

Rabies affects only mammals. Mammals are warm-blooded animals with fur. People are also mammals. Birds, snakes, and fish are not mammals, so they can’t get rabies and they can’t give it to you. But any mammal can get rabies, including people. 

If You Get Bitten:

  1. Wash the bite with soap and water right away for 10-15 minutes.
  2. See a health care provider as soon as possible.
  3. Report the bite.

How to Report A Bite:

Even if you own the animal or know the owner, it is important to report animal bites.

  1. Find the animal that bit. We need to know if it has been vaccinated for rabies or figure out if it could have rabies.
  2. Call De Pere Health Department and say you are calling to report an animal bite. If the bite happens outside of normal business hours, call the local non-emergency phone number.
    • If you don't know the animal's owner, or it was a stray or wild animal, share as much as you can about the animal. Include what it looked like, where you saw it, and if you’ve seen the animal before.
    • Your information will be shared with DPHD staff, who will follow-up with you about the bite.


If You Were Bitten by a Pet

  • Check to see if the bite broke the skin, right away. Don’t wait to check the bite when you get home.
  • Exchange name and phone number with the owner.
  • Find out if the pet is up to date on rabies shots by asking the owner to call their vet.

If You Were Bitten by a Wild Animal (bat*, skunk, fox, raccoon, etc.)

  • Watch the animal so that it can be captured. It is ok for you to catch the animal if you won’t be bitten again.
  • If you need to kill the animal, don't damage the head. Keep the animal cool until it can be tested.
    • If the rabies test is positive, you should receive rabies shots as soon as possible.
    • If the rabies test is negative, you were not exposed to rabies.
    • If the animal was not captured or if the test came back indeterminate (uncertain), talk to your doctor. You may need to start rabies shots as soon as possible.

*What to know about bats

Bat bites are hard to spot because their teeth are small and bite marks can disappear quickly.

If you wake up with a bat in your room, or find a bat in the room of an unattended child, pet, or mentally impaired person, take action. You may not know they were bitten.  

  1. Safely capture the bat without harming it, or being bitten, so it can be tested for rabies. (How to capture a bat.)
  3. Report the captured bat to DPHD during business hours.

Keeping of Chickens

As of August 1, 2012 residents in the City of De Pere may keep chickens. Click here for more information - including permits -  from the City Clerk's office.


Residents in the City of De Pere may keep bees.  A beekeeping permit is required before a person can keep or maintain beehives in the City. No more than two hives of bees per parcel in single family and two-family residence districts. Only one permit shall be issued per parcel. Please see the following links for rules, regulations, and other information. 

Beekeeping Forms

Dog & Cat Licenses

The City of De Pere requires dogs and cats to be licensed. View more information from the City Clerk's office here:

Animal Variance

De Pere’s City Ordinance 86-3 indicates that the maximum number of dogs or cats allowed per dwelling unit within the city is four, with the maximum number of cats being three and the maximum number of dogs being two. The City of De Pere Health Officer may permit the keeping of additional pets (variance) by any person where it appears that no nuisance will be created.  To apply for a variance, complete an application and submit it to the De Pere Health Department.

Animal Variance Application