Parvo temporarily closes Riverton Animal Shelter

(Riverton, WY) Two confirmed cases of the Parvo virus were discovered at the PAWS for Life Riverton Animal Adoption Shelter on Tuesday, April 18, affecting two dogs, one of which had to be euthanized.

“The rest of the dogs are being isolated and quarantined and we’re watching them closely,” said Pamela Canham, Executive Director of PAWS for Life, who said that they are working with Dr. Amy Stockton of The Stock Doc, and Riverton’s new Police Chief Eric Hurtado–who has had extensive experience operating and managing dog shelters–in the processes of containment, clean-up, and treatment.

“The facility and all indoor and outdoor kennels are being deep cleaned from top to bottom,” Canham said. “We’ve had a few cases of Parvo in the past, but not with the large number of dogs we currently have.”


Overcrowding has been the biggest problem at the shelter for quite some time. “We currently have 46 dogs at the shelter and 23 kennels,” Canham said. “You can do the math on that.”

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association website, Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs, but “unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are the most at risk.”

The Animal Adoption Center is a no-kill facility and falls under the purview of the Riverton Police Department. Canham said that euthanization is a decision of the shelter. “They are never euthanized because of shelter space,” she said. “It is only in cases where the dog is aggressive and the safety of the public or a potential owner would be compromised, or if the dog is so sick that it would be inhumane to keep them alive. You’ll find that this is the case with any shelter in the world.”

When asked what the community could do to help, Canham said that the dogs are still in the quarantine stage, but that “they will be ready for adoption after they have all been given a clean bill of health.” 


PAWS for Life also has upcoming fundraisers, such as Guard the Paws, a pet food and supply fundraiser partnering with the Wyoming National Guard, with a play date scheduled for Saturday, May 13 at the National Guard Armory in Lander, and a yard sale event that is scheduled for May 5 & 6 in Riverton.

For more information about PAWS for Life, call (307) 857-6002, visit their Facebook page, or their website at


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