Preparing for coronavirus? Don’t forget your pets

What will happen to your pets if you get sick

ROANOKE, Va. – A local animal shelter is reminding you to think about your pets as the coronavirus spreads.

While there are still zero confirmed cases of the virus in Virginia, the Roanoke Valley SPCA advises people to have someone lined up to care for your pets in case you get sick and can’t care for them.

Most local shelters have very little space and likely would not be able to take in very many pets.

SPCA Executive Director Denise Hayes said that one way you can help is by signing up to be a foster.

“We take care of all the financial costs for the pet during that time, you just provide the love and the care and that sort of thing. It’s a great opportunity to help and give back in the community," Hayes said.

While pets can get the coronavirus, it’s different than the human version.

If a pet at the shelter were to get the virus, there is a plan.

“They would go into isolation,” said Hayes.

The shelter has also been working with other shelters to come up with a plan in case a shelter staff member gets sick.

“How we can help and support one another. We’ve talked to staff here about ways we can make that possible,” Hayes said.