Plan don’t panic: Roanoke Valley SPCA shares what to do with pets

ROANOKE, Va. – When we say “plan, don’t panic,” that also includes your furry companion(s).

There is still a lot to be figured out when it comes to coronavirus and animals like livestock and pets. The USDA and Humane Society of the United States are urging pet owners to make a plan from what we know so far.

Tips on how to prepare for coronavirus when it comes to your pet (WSLS)

A tiger at a New York zoo tested positive for coronavirus after being exposed to a zoo employee who had it. At this time the USDA’s website states if animals can catch COVID-19 there’s no evidence to suggest they can spread it to people, but you still want to social distance.

“What the USDA is recommending is that our pets social distance just like people should be. So not coming into contact with people outside of your home, outside of your family that you’re living with,” said Suzanne Cresswell, director of philanthropy and community engagement at Roanoke Valley SPCA.

If someone in your home is infected with coronavirus, the USDA suggests that person stays away from the pet.

Coronavirus doesn’t just impact a pet’s home life.

Roanoke Valley SPCA has made a lot of changes in the last several weeks to take care of pets while protecting staff, volunteers and potential new pet owners. That means they can still move forward with adoptions.

The new process includes viewing available pets online. Then you call to speak with an adoption counselor who will match you with a pet based on your family, lifestyle and what you’re looking for.

After, you make an appointment for a meet and greet. The general public can no longer just walk into Roanoke Valley SPCA. For the meet and greet, there can’t be any more than two people and those two people have to be from the same household.

In the midst of what’s going on, Cresswell tells 10 News they are seeing a boost in adoptions.

“People have a little more time at home they realize that they may have some time to spend on training a pet and who doesn’t love to curl up on the couch with a cat or dog so we have seen an uptick in our adoptions.”

The local SPCA is not doing any procedures at this time. New pet owners are required to sign a contract to bring their pet back when thing return to normal.

Adoption fees are currently waived for pets older than the age of one.

Click here for USDA’s FAQ page on coronavirus as it pertains to animals.

Humane Society of the United States also has a FAQ page with helpful information, here.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.