As communities respond to the respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus (COVID-19), it is important to have plans for your pets as well as yourself. The virus has been identified in our community and in order to keep families together, we ask that you include your pets in plans you make in response to this emerging situation.
What happens to my pet if I get sick?
Keep your pet home with you, avoid close contact and follow good hygiene.
The CDC recommends the following: “You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.”
How can I prepare now in case I get sick?
It is important to have a plan in place for all members of your household to respond to any emergency, including illness. In addition to preparations typically recommended for any natural disaster threat, put a plan in place if you become ill and need to be hospitalized.
Please visit our emergency preparedness guide and think through what provisions you would need for you and your pet if you were quarantined for an extended period of time and also if you needed to find temporary alternate housing for your pet should you become unable to care for your pet.
Can I catch the virus from my pet or vice versa?
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the World Organization for Animal Health have issued advisories saying there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the virus and “there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.”
This is a rapidly evolving situation and we encourage you to regularly consult the websites for the CDC and DC Health. As always, contact your veterinarian and your physician if you suspect that you or your pet has been exposed to the virus.
The Humane Rescue Alliance is taking all the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of the animals in our care, our staff, and the community we serve. At this time, our operations will continue as normal. Please consult HRA's website for updates on hours and information.