NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Seven leading Louisiana animal shelters 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:
- Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
- Name and contact information for your backup in case your go-to is no longer able to help
- Food, treats, a leash, toys and any other supplies necessary to care for your pet for at least two weeks
- A crate or carrier to transport your pet
- Vaccination records
- Collar with ID tags (don’t forget to make sure their microchip information is up-to-date)
- Medications and prescriptions, along with instructions
- Daily care instructions
- Your veterinarian’s contact information
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 Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge, Humane Society of Louisiana, Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter, Louisiana SPCA, Northshore Humane Society, St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter and Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter.