March 13, 2020 — With the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease on the rise worldwide, it is important to include your pets in preparedness plans.

The Nassau 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, including your pets, in the event this area is impacted by the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition to preparations typically recommended for any natural disaster threat, people with pets should identify family members or friends to care for pets if someone in the household comes ill and is hospitalized.

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 use 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.

Ensure that all animal vaccines are 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.

Nassau Humane Society recommends staying diligent in preparations, but not overreacting to COVID-19 concerns. By creating a preparedness plan ahead of time for the unlikely event it becomes necessary to put into motion, community members can do their part to ensure animal service resources do not become overwhelmed and their pets are spared unnecessary stress.

If you would like to help offset the potential impact on pets related to COVID-19, please inquire about fostering. Please call us at (904) 321-1647 or email [email protected] for more information.

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association states that there is no evidence that companion animals can be infected with or spread COVID-19. This is also the view of the World Health Organization. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, people with confirmed COVID-19 should avoid contact with other people as well as pets.