Riverton Officials Confirm 3 Cases of Plague in Family Dogs
Three cases of plague in family dogs and one case of rabies in a bat were confirmed this week in Fremont County, according to authorities.
Animal Control Officer Becki Weber of the Riverton Police Department is asking pet owners to protect their furry family members with vaccinations and through other means.
"We all love our pets and they are part of our way of life," Weber said in a statement distributed to media Thursday. "To keep them and you safe we must keep the pets healthy."
She stresses that the City of Riverton requires a current rabies vaccination from a licensed veterinarian as well as a city dog license. Both can be obtained by contacting the PAWS Animal Shelter.
As for plague, which can infect humans as well as animals, Weber recommends using proper insect control.
"Fleas that become infected with [the bacteria that causes plague] transmit plague," Weber added. "Fleas become infected by feeding on rodents, such as prairie dogs, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, dead animals and other mammals that are infected with the bacteria[.]"
She advises pet owners to be aware of the areas their pets frequent and the type of environment and insects to which the pet may be exposed. She emphasizes that animals and people can be treated for plague by seeking medical attention.
Rabies, however, is usually fatal once it appears. A bat tested positive for rabies this week, Weber said.
"If a bat is found inside your home, please let the Riverton Police Department know, we will come get it," she continued.
Plague and rabies are not new to Wyoming, but Weber wants residents to know how to prevent infection and seek out medical professionals or animal control authorities if necessary.