The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is in close contact with their shelter and rescue partners to assemble a toolkit for animal shelters and to share important tips on protecting your animal companions during the coronavirus disease pandemic.
In the US, the organization set up a Pets for Life program. This supports pet owners in “underserved areas” with delivered additional supplies to senior citizens or persons with disability. They also offer spay and neuter, and other veterinary appointments to those with emergency pet concerns.
HSUS urges pet owners to include their furry companions in planning, just like in any other disasters or calamities. Here are some steps to follow:
- 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, 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 go-to bag.
- Pets should have proper identification: a collar with ID tag and if possible, a microchip with current, up to date contact information.
The World Organization for Animal Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued advisories noting there is no evidence that pets can spread the virus.
“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,” said Dr. Gail Hansen, DVM MPH of Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.