There have been recent news articles explaining the importance of pet owners having a plan for their pets in case of hospitalization during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for good reason. If your animal shelter hasn’t already done so, encouraging pet owners in your community to do so is a great idea. Here are three steps everyone can take:
Know the facts
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, there is currently no evidence that people can get COVID-19 from pets. However, if the guardian needs to be hospitalized or does not have anyone in the home who can care for the pet, they can activate their plan to have a caregiver for their pet. Here’s what shelters like Pima Animal Care Centers and Wisconsin Humane Society are suggesting they do.
Find a temporary caregiver for your pet
It’s best if you can find a friend or family member that already knows your pet (and that your pet likes!), but just about any home is better than dropping off your pet at shelter due to the stressful environment. You can also contact pet-sitters or boarding facilities to see if they are accepting clients.
Put together your pet supply kit
Regardless of the current pandemic, this is something good to do. If possible, your kit should include:
- Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
- Name and contact information for your back-up in case your go-to is no longer able to help
- Food, treats, a leash, toys and any other supplies necessary to care for your pet for at least two weeks
- A crate or carrier to transport your pet
- Vaccination records
- Collar with ID tags (make sure their microchip information is up to date!)
- Medications and prescriptions, along with instructions (if needed)
- Daily care instructions
- Your veterinarian’s contact information
Enlisting your local media can be crucial to spreading this important message. Reach out to your trusted contacts and let them know what you’re trying to do. Here’s a sample release created by shelters in the San Francisco Bay Area that you can adapt to your community.
You can also share this webcast, Who Will Make a Plan for Your Pet? Make a Plan Today, and share the link to view on-demand for those who can’t make it live.