The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has assembled a toolkit for animal shelters to help them respond to the needs of the communities that they serve. They are in close contact with their Shelter and Rescue Partners to share important information about how to protect pets during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Their Pets for Life program, which supports pet owners in underserved areas, has delivered additional supplies to senior and immobile clients and is modifying spay/neuter and veterinary appointments to maintain those valuable services within certain guidelines.
How can I be preparing to take care of my pet?
As with disaster preparedness, HSUS urges everyone to have a plan in place for how to endure this crisis from the safety of their homes. Here are some steps to take:
Identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if someone in the household becomes too ill to care for them.
Have crates, food and extra supplies on hand for movement and relocation of pets if necessary.
Keep all animal vaccines up to date and have copies of those records available in the event that boarding becomes necessary.
Ensure that all medications are documented with dosages and administering directions. It’s a good idea to include the prescription from your veterinarian with the medications and your pet’s to-go bag.
Pets should have proper identification: a collar with ID tag and if possible, a microchip with current, up-to date contact information.
Can my pet get COVID-19?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Organization for Animal Health have issued advisories saying that there is no evidence at this time that companion animals can spread the COVID-19 virus.
Dr. Gail Hansen, DVM, MPH of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, said in a statement, “At this time we do not have evidence that pets can get or spread COVID-19, although it is always good for people to practice careful handwashing after handling your pet and after picking up and disposing pet waste. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick, so you and your pet can get the best care.”
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has introduced a good deal of uncertainty into our lives, but being prepared can make a world of difference.
What can I do for animals during this crisis?
It is a great time to adopt a pet to reduce the potential strain on shelters and to offer to provide foster care (U.S. residents: see petfinder.com and 911fosterpets.com) in case shelters start to receive an increase in the number of requests to provide foster care for pets of people who get seriously ill or are hospitalized. Please reach out to shelters and rescue groups in your area for more information.
HSI would also be grateful for any amount you can spare to support their ongoing efforts to help animals now and in the future HERE!
Where can I get help if I am experiencing financial hardship and need help covering costs for pet care?
U.S.-based pet owners: Please refer to this list of organizations that provide financial support HERE!
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