ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — Eight animal shelters in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. want pet owners to have a plan in place for their animals in case they come down with COVID-19 and can no longer take care of their pets.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington advises pet owners to find a temporary caregiver for your pets in case you’re hospitalized. Put together a pet supply kit with the following:
- Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
- Name and contact information for your back-up 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
If you can’t afford extra pet food right now, the AWLA can order what you need and deliver it to your door.
AWLA’s Communication Specialist Chelsea Jones says the shelters have joined forces for this message to reach more people. “In the D.C. Metro Area, everything’s so transient and people live in one state and work in another,” Jones said. “We just really want to make sure that…we all get this message across to people, regardless of where they live, so that people know what their resources are as well.”
If pet owners don’t have family members or friends to take care of their pets in the event of emergency hospitalization, Jones says AWLA is equipped to temporarily hold animals for up to two weeks.
The participating shelters in this request are the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Fairfax County Animal Shelter, Humane Rescue Alliance, Loudoun County Animal Services, Montgomery County Animal Services, Prince George’s County Animal Services and Prince William County Animal Control Bureau.