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Max and Erica Scherzer, Sen. Elizabeth Dole star in COVID-19 public service announcements for Humane Rescue Alliance

World Series champion Max Scherzer, Humane Rescue Alliance board member Erica Scherzer and Sen. Elizabeth Dole are lending a hand to promote pet preparedness and safety in the wake of COVID-19 through a new public service announcement campaign produced by HRA/St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center.

The “#PlanforPets” campaign includes two PSAs, one from Max and Erica Scherzer and one from former American Red Cross president Sen. Elizabeth Dole, which were recorded virtually at their respective homes.

The PSAs urge pet owners to make plans now for temporary caregivers for their pets in case they are sick or hospitalized and to prepare pet supply kits with medication, food, vaccine records and other essentials.

The “#PlanforPets” campaign includes two calls to action for pet owners: make a written emergency preparedness plan now for each of your pets (an editable PDF template is available here); share that you’ve made a plan on social media along with a photo of your pet(s) using the hashtag #PlanforPets to urge others to do the same.

For more information about emergency preparedness for pets, visit humanerescuealliance.org/prepare.

“We are so grateful that Max, Erica and Senator Dole are willing to use their public platforms to raise awareness of an emergency plan for your pets in the face of the pandemic,” said Lisa LaFontaine, President and CEO of HRA/St. Hubert’s. “By having a contingency plan in place for pets, families can exhale a bit knowing their pets are in good hands no matter what challenges arise. It is always better for an animal to be in a home environment, and if community members take these steps we can use the limited space in our shelters to take in stray pets, the kittens who are coming in during kitten season, and injured or abused animals who need immediate attention.”

HRA/St. Hubert’s has taken in animals from two households where someone has been stricken by the virus. The organization is following guidelines from the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, the Centers for Disease Control and its own medical staff in caring for these animals, who are quarantined and separated from all other populations of animals in its shelters. The organization hopes that by spreading awareness about having a #PlanforPets, shelters will not see an influx of animals from households where somebody has contracted COVID-19.

Earlier this month, eight D.C., Maryland and Virginia animal welfare organizations united to urge the community to have a plan in place for their beloved companion animals in the wake of COVID-19, as did eight animal welfare organizations in New Jersey.