Your pets and COVID-19

What we’re doing…

The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center has made several changes to operations to help protect the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The shelter, which oversees Animal Care and Control for the County, will only dispatch officers for assistance with police cases and where there is imminent danger to the public, at the recommendation of the National Animal Care and Control Association.
  • The Animal Resource Center will also no longer accept stray dogs brought in by the public. We are asking for anyone who finds a dog to call the ARC at (937) 898-4457 and report it, and if possible, to send a picture of the dog to the ARC at [email protected]  Also, finders will be asked to provide a foster home and/or attempt to find the owner. There are local Facebook groups with large memberships aimed at reuniting lost pets with their owner.
  • For anyone who needs to find a new home for a pet, the shelter has resources to help at https://mcanimals.org/resources/rehoming-your-pet/.
  • The shelter will also be allowing only five public visitors within the building at any time to promote social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • (Update 3/25/2020) The Animal Resource Center’s hours have changed to allow for fewer staff members in the building at one time. Hours during the COVID-19 response are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m .to 1 p.m. on Sunday.
  • (Update 3/30/2020) Effective today, March 30th, the Bark Park and the big hill are closed to the public. We still encourage you to get outside and take your dog for leashed walks during this time. Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to opening the Bark Park again as soon as possible.

Additionally, if anyone has lost a dog, and believes it may be at the Animal Resource Center, call the shelter at (937) 898-4457, and arrangements will be discussed to safely view the dog in person. As of the time of writing, there are 57 dogs listed on the shelter’s lost and found page. Those animals are all viewable at https://mcanimals.org/lost-and-found/.

“We need to limit the intake of animals to protect both our officers and the general public,” said Animal Resource Center Director Robert Gruhl. “We must do our part to stop the spread of this disease.”

What you can do…

First and foremost, do not panic! At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection. We still recommend washing your hands with soap and water after contact with any animal. This protects you and others against various common bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.

Preparation is key. Identify backup caretakers for your pets ahead of time in the event you are confirmed to have COVID-19 and are not able to care for them. If you can’t find a backup caretaker, and public health officials require home care and isolation, wear a well-fitted mask and limit interaction with pets and other animals.

In the event that you become too sick to care for your animal, having a preparedness plan is essential. Some steps to take include:

  • Have crates, food and extra supplies on hand in case someone else must care for your pet.
  • Keep all animal vaccines up-to-date and have copies of those records in case you need to board your pet.
  • Keep a list of medications with dosages and administering directions. Include the prescription from your veterinarian in your pet’s to-go bag.

Pets should have proper identification: a collar with ID tag and a microchip with current, up-to-date contact information.

Emergency grants to cover pet boarding for COVID-19 patients

An Emergency Boarding grant program, supported by a generous donation from Purina-RedRover’s Purple Leash Project, is now available to help animals belonging to owners who are hospitalized due to COVID-19.

Grants will cover up to two weeks of boarding while the owner is being treated. Applicants must: contact area boarding facilities to find reasonably priced options; ensure boarding is through a business and not an individual; provide a written estimate and final invoice; obtain the owner’s permission if someone else submits the application; and provide updates on the pet owner’s condition.

Grants can also cover costs of vaccinations needed for the animal to enter boarding. Nicole Forsyth, RedRover President & CEO, said the grants are designed to enhance the human-animal bonds that are even more important during times of crisis.

“Knowing a pet is well cared for will hopefully bring some peace of mind to those undergoing COVID-19 treatment,” she said.

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Keep your pets safe

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