A 12-month study in central Alaska shows that family pets are harboring a significant quantity of human intestinal pathogens. While previous investigators in Alaska have found up to 7% of the dogs harboring either Salmonella or Shigella, this study found approximately 18% harboring these plus an additional 9% harboring related, potentially pathogenic organisms. In addition, the study shows that dogs in the area (1) can harbor multiple species of Salmonella at one time, (2) appear to act as transient carriers, and (3) do not necessarily show signs of intestinal infection when the organisms are present. The organisms were found in the animals throughout the year. As a result of the long severe winter, the family pet usually lives in close proximity to human friends; thus it becomes a potential vector of some significance.