Pets and COVID-19

Friday, March 13, 2020

Friends of Strays understands the growing concerns surrounding coronavirus, COVID-19, across our community. We are closely monitoring the situation and following protocol as laid out by animal welfare expert agencies, the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

At FOS, our concerns are the safety of our pets, our staff, our volunteers, and our community. We would like to echo the statements of the CDC:

  • There is currently no known reason to believe that any animals, including pets in the United States, can contract or spread COVID-19.
  • To date, the CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.
  • The CDC recommends following everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of illness, which includes washing your hands.

Friends of Strays follows proper protocol at our shelter in terms of the proper disinfection of our facility.

FOS recommends that, like in preparation for any disaster, you make plans that include your pet. A few steps you can take include:

  1. Making a plan with your family and network that includes contingencies to care for your pet should you be hospitalized or otherwise unable to provide care.
  2. Having a 3-week supply of pet food and necessities on hand.
  3. Keep pet vaccinations up to date in case you must consider boarding.

As Floridians, many of us are used to taking these steps to prepare for hurricanes. Similarly, Floridians generously support shelters and pets in those times. This is one of those times and we need your help.

As our community is partaking in social distancing, we are expecting to see a drop-off in pet adoptions over the coming weeks. Coupled with facing the possibility that we may lose staff and volunteers in the near future due to exposure risk and public closures, Friends of Strays is taking a proactive approach to this situation and asking for your support with the following:

  • Foster Homes – We need emergency “on-call” fosters who are willing to care for dogs for a minimum of 14 days, if needed. We have dogs that can go home with other dogs, cats, and children. If you are willing to be an emergency foster, please email [email protected] with the subject “Emergency Dog Foster”. Please include your phone number and list any pets in your home.
  • Adopt – If you are thinking about adoption, now is a great time! We are conducting adoptions by appointment. To see our available animals, visit friendsofstrays.org/adopt.
  • Donations – As our adoptions numbers slow, our cost per animal increases and our income from adoption fees decreases. We need your support now more than ever to care for our animals and stock foster supplies. Please consider making a monetary donation here or donating items off of our Wish List
  • Share – Please help us share the message of preparing for your own pets and that there is no connection between pets and the spread of COVID-19.

For more on pets and COVID-19, you can check out Can Dogs Get Coronavirus? What We Know So Far by Dr. Libby Guice, DVM.

Dr. Guise is a veterinarian advisor for FluentWoof.com. After working in private practice in Wisconsin for two years, she joined the USDA as a Veterinary Medical Officer. In 2011, she came home to focus on raising and teaching her adoptive daughter. She lives in Wisconsin with her daughter, husband, and two furbabies.

Your support for FOS in times of need has been unwavering and we know that together, we can weather any storm that comes our way. Keep calm, wash your hands, and foster a dog!

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