GSHS suggests including pets in preparedness plan for COVID-19

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

With the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 on the rise worldwide, it is important for Carroll County residents to include their pets in preparedness plans.

Good Shepherd Humane Society joins the Humane Society of the United States and the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement in suggesting community members create a preparedness plan that includes their pets in the event that Carroll County is impacted by the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition to preparations typically recommended for any natural disaster threat, individuals with pets should identify family members or friends to care for the pets if someone in the household becomes ill and is hospitalized.

Here's how to make a preparedness plan for your pets:

Identify a trusted family member or friend to care for your pets if someone in your household becomes ill or is hospitalized.
Research potential boarding facilities to utilize in the event boarding your pet becomes necessary.
Have crates, food and extra supplies for your pet on hand in case moving them becomes necessary or if the disease spreads in the community and it becomes necessary to reduce social exposure.
All animal vaccines should be up to date in the event boarding becomes necessary.
Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and administering instructions. Including the prescription from the prescribing veterinarian is also helpful.
Pets should have identification including a collar with current identification tags and a registered microchip.

Good Shepherd recommends staying diligent in preparations but not overreacting to COVID-19 concerns. By creating a preparedness plan ahead of time, community members can do their part to ensure animal service resources do not become overwhelmed and their pets are spared unnecessary stress.

The good news is there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be passed to or from pets. That means many of us already have the perfect quarantine companion at home: our pets. Walking your dog is a perfectly acceptable social distancing activity. Use your extra time at home to work on that special training or bonding you've been putting off. Your pets will be glad to have the extra time with you.

Community members who are eager to help offset the potential impact on pets related to COVID-19 are encouraged to inquire about fostering. For more information, call the shelter at 479-253-9188.

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