A county-wide quarantine is currently in place for all unvaccinated dogs, cats, and ferrets in Yellowstone County, after a positive case of rabies was confirmed.

According to the press release from the Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL), a rabies-infected skunk was captured in the county, and is the state's first case of terrestrial (non-bat) rabies this year. This is the first terrestrial case of rabies in Yellowstone County since 2013.

Two dogs were exposed to the infected skunk, according to the press release, and are now being treated for rabies.

This case is an important reminder of the presence of rabies in wild animal populations in Montana and the need to keep our pets safe. Rabies vaccination is a low-cost, safe, and effective way to protect our pets and subsequently ourselves from this disease. -Dr. Anna Forseth, Montana Department of Livestock

Rabies is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, and can infect humans, but the disease is 100 percent preventable through rabies vaccines, according to the MDOL.

Any contact with pets and wild animals should be reported to your veterinarian, and to the Montana Department of Livestock so they can "ensure potential rabies exposure are assessed for risk and managed accordingly."

The mission of the MDOL, according to the press release, is to "control and eradicate animal diseases, prevent the transmission of animal diseases to humans, and to protect the livestock industry from theft and predatory animals."

If you need to contact the Montana Department of Livestock to report contact between a pet and a wild animal, CLICK HERE.

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