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Metro Animal Care and Control recommends pet owners organize preparedness plan

04/17/20

Media Contact: Lauren Bluestone, Metro Animal Care and Control, 630-346-2199

Metro Animal Care and Control recommends pet owners organize preparedness plan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 16, 2020) – With the increased presence of COVID-19 in the Nashville/Davidson County area, Metro Animal Care and Control (MACC) is encouraging pet owners to plan for their pet’s care in the event the owner tests positive for the Coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and American Veterinary Medical Association, no evidence has been found of companion animals transmitting the virus to humans.

Whenever possible, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends keeping pets and their owners together. Even in the event of self-quarantine or when pet owners are infected and isolated at home, pets should remain in the home. Pet owners are strongly encouraged to:

  • Practice good hygiene during interactions with your pet (wash hands before and after interacting with your pet);
  • Do not kiss your pet or let your pet lick your face;
  • Do not share food, dishes, glasses, eating utensils, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase, planning for the unlikely possibility of owner hospitalization can help reduce stress for pet owners should the need arise.

Planning should include obtaining a one-month supply of pet food, litter, medications and supplies. Owners should also discuss options for housing the animal if the owner cannot care for their pet.  Identify at least three family members, neighbors, or friends that can care for your pets in your home if you are isolated or hospitalized.  Provide written permission for this caregiver and written care instructions for your pets. Having a plan will reduce stress by providing peace of mind that pets will be cared for. Additional planning considerations should include the following:

  • Research potential boarding facilities to utilize in the event boarding your pet becomes necessary.
  • Have crates, carrier, toys, food and extra supplies for your pet on hand in case moving them becomes necessary, either for their health or 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 administration 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.
  • A written emergency plan should be created for each pet.

People are encouraged to observe social distancing guidelines while walking their pets, staying six feet from other people and pets. Pets should also practice social distancing, staying in their owner’s home or on their property.

MACC is employing social distancing guidelines in their facility to reduce person-to-person contact, the most common way the virus spreads. Animal Control Officers have suspended non-emergency calls and activities, while wearing personal protective equipment to respond to high-priority and emergency calls.

MACC has also limited non-essential animal intakes and suspended non-essential owner surrenders, a service that requires an in-person appointment. Shelter staff are encouraging foster homes to accept foster pets to reduce crowding and human contact at MACC. A limited number of adoptions are being performed on an appointment basis.

The new policies at MACC will be in place until it is safe for employees to go about their normal routines without risk of COVID-19 infection.

Additionally, the staff at MACC uses hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the shelter, cleaning high-touch areas frequently. MACC has also posted information about avoiding the spread of COVID-19 throughout the facility.

Metro Animal Care and Control (MACC) is committed to the delivery of effective, courteous, and responsive animal care and control services to the residents of Nashville/Davidson County. MACC’s mission is to promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of pets and people in Nashville. Our goals are to build partnerships within the community to promote responsible pet ownership, decrease the overpopulation of domestic pets through spay-neuter programs, and to place adoptable animals in good homes.