Disease not so dangerous

When Butte County Animal Control recently sent out a press release noting a “recent rise in canine distemper virus cases in Butte County and neighboring counties,” local television news jumped on the story. As a result, some dog owners may have become frightened for their pets’ safety.

Not to worry. As it turns out, the virus is not an eminent problem in Butte County.

In fact, there haven’t been any cases in the county for two months, acknowledged Terri Wiggins, supervisor of Animal Control, in an e-mail. “We purely want people to be aware that it may be a rising concern” and that vaccinations against the virus are a necessary way to prevent your pet from contracting it.”

Though there was an outbreak in November at the Northwest SPCA in Oroville, cases have died down and have been reported mostly in neighboring counties.

Bottom line: Get your dog vaccinated, but don’t panic. The virus is a possible threat but not a likely one in Butte County.