Eight D.C., Maryland and Virginia animal welfare organizations are uniting to urge the community to have a plan in place for their beloved companion animals in the wake of COVID-19. Though this illness has been fatal for some community members, countless residents may experience a hospital stay, potentially leaving untold numbers of companion animals needing care.
Shelters are urging residents to have a preparedness plan in place:
1. Find a temporary caregiver to take on your pets if you are hospitalized. The best place for your pet, even if you are sick, is with you in your home. However, you may become too ill to care for your pet. It’s important to identify two potential caregivers and speak with them so they’re prepared should they be called to action. Contact neighbors, family, friends, pet-sitters and boarding facilities. The most ideal situation for you and your pets is for them to remain in the temporary care of a trusted caregiver and out of an animal shelter.
2. Prepare a pet supply kit. It may not seem necessary today, but having proper supplies and information in place in advance is critical if you find yourself in an emergency situation. Your kit should include:
3. Know the facts. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no evidence that people can get COVID-19 from pets. The best place for your animal is inside the home they know and love. If you aren’t feeling well but are still able to provide care for your pet, please keep them at home with you where they’re most comfortable.
With your whole family on board and a plan in place, you’ll feel better about your pet’s safety knowing they’re in good hands no matter what challenges may arise. In addition, keeping area animal shelters free of long-term care animals allows them to be better prepared for the onset of kitten season, stray pets and animal care cases that require immediate attention.
The participating shelters in this request are the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Fairfax County Animal Shelter, Humane Rescue Alliance, Loudoun County Animal Services, Montgomery County Animal Services, Prince George’s County Animal Services and Prince William County Animal Control Bureau.
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