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We are excited to announce that we will be launching our new, improved website in early May. The new mobile friendly website will offer a fresh new look, improved navigation so you can find things more quickly, simplified content, a blog, and much more information in Spanish. We hope you will like the changes!

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Advice to Prevent and Respond to Dog Bites

Dog Bite Reporting and Prevention

As the weather becomes milder, PHMDC Animal Services receives more reports of dog bites. Nearly half of Dane County households own a dog, so it’s important that all residents know what to do in the event of a bite. Our Animal Services Staff offer the following advice the following so that both dogs and the people in our community co-exist peacefully:

Make sure your dog is licensed and has ID tags

Renew your dog’s license each year, and always keep their license and ID tags on them. These tags are their first ticket back home in case of accidental separation. Your dog’s license tag immediately informs Animal Services Officers and neighbors where your dog lives and that your dog is vaccinated against rabies, should a bite incident occur.

Prevent Bites

  • Teach your dog appropriate behavior by training it, and socializing your dog with other people and dogs.
  • Avoid situations you know are stressful to your dog, like being in a crowd, or having visitors.
  • Always ask before petting a dog. If you don’t know the dog, don’t pet it at all.
  • Watch for body language that gives a warning that dogs might bite. They may stand stiff and still, stare at you, or hold their tail stiffly and up in the air.

Report Bites

  • If a bite occurs, treat it like a car accident: exchange names, phone numbers, rabies information and veterinarian name.
  • Report the bite to PHMDC by calling Police and Fire Dispatch at (608) 255-2345 and asking for Animal Services. This ensures that any necessary follow up can happen.

More information is available.

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Many residents of Dane County get their water supply from their own private wells. Unlike public water supplies that are continuously tested and monitored,  homeowners that have their own well are responsible for making sure their drinking water is safe. 

Well owners are advised to get their well water tested for bacteria and nitrates every year. Disease-causing bacteria can get into the well and cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever and diarrhea, so it important to have your well checked yearly for bacteria. It is also important to test for nitrates particularly in households with pregnant women, infants, and young children.

Testing should also be done anytime the area around your well has flooded, or if you notice changes in taste, odor or appearance of your water. 

Depending on the age and type of plumbing in your house, there may be a need to test for other things like lead and other metals.  For example, homeowners that have old lead pipes and service lines may want to test for lead since lead in drinking water can pose a health risk for infants and young children.   

PHMDC has a certified laboratory that can test your drinking water for bacteria, nitrites/nitrates, metals, and other contaminants. Lab staff are available to discuss your testing needs and make recommendations for your particular situation by calling (608) 243-0357. They will also provide you with information about how to get a test kit and take a water sample. 

Information about tests and fees is available.  If you have well water and are unable to afford testing, free water testing is available if a pregnant woman or a new child lives in the home. Call (608) 242-6515 for more information.