A concerning post on social media by Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office Animal Control last week indicated they have received reports of pets possibly being poisoned in the Billings area. The news has raised alarm for concerned dog (and cat) owners around Yellowstone County.

We're a "dog family" at my house and the thought of someone intentionally poisoning one of our fur babies makes me absolutely furious. Here's a picture of three of our goofballs, taking their much-needed afternoon naps. So tired, lol.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
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YCSO Animal Control Officer shared some additional insight.

I spoke with Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Office Bailey Smith today (1/25) to see if they could offer any additional details. She said they are currently working with local vets and Billings Police Department Animal Control regarding the reports of poisoned pets and are coordinating an investigation plan. Officer Smith said they've received a "concerning number" of reports in recent months of apparently healthy pets falling suddenly ill and/or dying. The calls have not been limited to one area or neighborhood.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
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What can you do?

Obviously, if your pet suddenly shows signs of illness, you should get them to your veterinarian ASAP. Possible signs of poisoning may include excessive saliva, lethargy, blood coming from any orifice, vomiting, disorientation, and/or sudden, unexplained death.

Veterinarians at two well-known local animal hospitals were in surgery when I called for comment today. A representative from Skyview Veterinarian Hospital said they have not recently received any animals believed to be poisoned. If a pet owner believes their animal has been intentionally poisoned, they may request a toxicology report.

Officer Smith said they are not ruling out the possibility of some type of virus, and if that becomes the case they will request assistance from state labs. She asks that if you had a dog die unexpectedly in the last four months, please contact the YSCO Animal Control Office at (406)256-2929. You may also email the department at ycso@yellowstonecountymt.gov. If anyone has security camera footage of suspicious activity (e.g. someone tossing food or other possibly tainted bait over a fence), they would love to see it.

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.