Cheyenne Animal Shelter Director Rick Collord says the recent confirmation of 5 cases of rabies in the Pine Bluffs area highlight how important it is for pet and livestock owners to make sure their animals are vaccinated against the disease.

Collord says four skunks and a cat in that area have been confirmed as rabies cases. He says the cat and a skunk with the disease were found in Wyoming, while the other three skunks were just a few yards over the Nebraska border. Three dogs vaccinated against the disease also came into contact with one of the skunks, and are currently under a 45 day quarantine for observation.

Collord says there had been relatively few cases of the disease in southeastern Wyoming until last year, when there was a significant increase, including a number of cases in the South Greeley Highway area of Cheyenne. In addition to vaccinating their animals, Collord says people should avoid any animal which is behaving strangely or appears to be sick. He encourages the reporting of such animals to the shelter immediately.