Covid-19 shelter kit for Animals

Daily Updates | Animals | People | Community Planning | Usable Communications

Structuring a foster program

Use these graphics to promote fostering
The Shelter Pet Project
, a national public service announcement campaign promoting pet adoption from shelters and rescues, is offering share graphics and draft copy promoting fostering for you to share on your social media channels.

FAQ: COVID Exposed Pets and Foster Care
Read these FAQs from Dr. Sandra Newbury’s recent Q&A about fostering exposed pets.

Foster on Deck Success for Humane Rescue Alliance
Foster On Deck is a program at HRA that enables them to know exactly how many homes they have available to take in specific populations of animals, which, in turn, allows them to be nimble and strategic in their decision making process.


Considerations for trapping community cats while social distancing
This guidance document is aimed at staff, volunteers, and independent community cat trappers. Developed by the HSUS, Neighborhood Cats and Alley Cat Advocates, it aims to help keep trappers and the communities they serve safe while conducting field work.

Transport Protocols
The Maine Federation of Humane Societies, in conjunction with the HSUS, developed these protocols for transport, which can serve as a guide when organizations/communities are ready to safely resume transport programs.

Moving to virtual adoptions
Humane Rescue Alliance has compiled resources about how to establish a virtual adoption process and communicate about it effectively to the community.

NACA Podcast with Dr. Cynthia Karsten
Dr. Karsten from UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program discusses how officers and shelter workers can keep safe through distancing and the proper the use of PPE.

How a Massachusetts shelter is caring for pets from COVID-19 households
In this Animal Sheltering article, Dakin Humane in Springfield, Massachusetts, shares their insights on caring for animals whose owners have become ill with COVID-19.

Do’s and don’ts for extending & replacing disinfectants during COVID-19
Running low on disinfectant or can’t find your go-to? Try these tips from The ASPCA’s Shelter Medicine team to extend or replace your regular disinfectants.

Shelter admission decisions during the COVID-19pandemic: Providing service safely
Watch the April 9 presentation from Dr. Kate Hurley and Dr. Sandra Newbury from UC Davis Koret and University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Programs.

Recommendations for temporary sheltering of pets exposed to COVID-19
Dr. Sandra Newbury and the Shelter Medicine Team at University of Wisconsin outline what shelters need to know regarding transmission, preparedness, and handling of exposed animals as of April 3, 2020.

Kitten Intake Recommendations for this Kitten Season
Per UW Shelter Medicine program guidelines, in order to support human and animal health in the midst of the pandemic, healthy kittens of any age should not be admitted to animal shelters.

Cat intake protocol recommendations during pandemic
Animal welfare organizations should cease any activity involving trapping and intaking healthy community cats. Organizations should continue to take in cats that are sick and injured, or are in immediate danger as in the case of cats that are victims of neglect or cruelty.

Read the statement endorsed by University of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program, University of California-Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, Dr. Jeanette O’Quin of The Ohio State University, and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.

Guidelines for removing animals from homes
Animal control personnel are increasingly being required to remove animals from homes occupied by COVID-19 cases. This NACA statement explains how to protect yourself.

More resources

Shelter medicine

Guidelines on essential medical & surgical care for shelters & spay/neuter clinics
This new University of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program tool guides decision-making on the timing of services and the form of their delivery.

Shelter Veterinarians Draft Letter Template
Contact your legislative leaders about temporarily permitting telemedicine with this Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship and Telemedicine Advocacy Statement and templates. Use these resources to ask for help.  

Veterinarians Address Pet Owner Concerns about Coronavirus
The CDC, WHO, and HSVMA agree: companion-animal-to-human transmission of COVID-19 is not a known risk. Learn how to address pet owner concerns.


Recording: An emergency contraception option for cats during Covid-19 delayed surgery
Read the Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs statement and resources about an oral contraceptive appropriate for well-monitored cats for up to 30 weeks during spay delay. Megestrol acetate is affordable and available from veterinary compounding pharmacies. Dr. Julie Levy (Maddies’ Shelter Medicine Education Univ. of Florida), and Dr. Mike Greenberg (Maddie’s Fund) discuss the topic in a webinar available on Maddie’s and from ACC&D’s websites. Watch the recording.


Sample documents from shelters


Questions? We have answers from experts

Ask the shelter experts! You can email questions to

Question: I'm messaging because as we may see animals being surrendered from infected homes: do we consider the animal a fomite? Is there a recommendation to bathe these animals or use PPE (which may be limited) when handling?

Answer from Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association’s Dr. Gail Hansen:

At this time there is no reason to do anything different than you would otherwise do (the Hong Kong dog "case" notwithstanding). There is no evidence that dogs or other pets can contract or spread COVID-19 (According to CDC, OIE, AVMA, WHO, WVA).
Bathing the animal is probably a good idea, but the act of bathing is what will be most useful, using an antibacterial soap is not. Think of it as similar to washing your hands after being in contact with a potentially contaminated surface. It is the mechanical action, not the soap that does the bulk of the good work.
The virus can persist on surfaces, so disinfecting surfaces is a good idea.

Question from Shelter Consultant in NY: I'm assuming that Rescue, the anti viral cleaning solution we use in our kennels, will kill the Corona Virus. As surface disinfectants are getting more difficult to find I am hoping we can use Rescue on door handles, surfaces, etc. Please advise.

Response from Wisconsin Humane:

You can use Rescue on other surfaces – they make Accel wipes for example that we use in our foster room on all surfaces.

Response from Dr. Julie Levy, University of Florida Shelter Medicine Program:

Accelerated hydrogen peroxide (e.g. Virox/Rescue) is EPA-approved for SARS-CoV-2. The company is on double-time production and shipping product world-wide, including for cruise ships.

From Virox:

Below is the info we send to anyone who inquires (and this happens very frequently) about Rescue for Coronavirus. We also have this knowledge base blog that we can send out as well.
Yes, when using Rescue™ Disinfectants we do expect efficacy against coronavirus disease.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is an enveloped virus, meaning that it is relatively easy to kill. Rescue™ Ready-to-Use Liquid and Wipes should be used with a 1-minute contact time. Rescue Concentrate should be used with a 5-minute contact time and a 1:64 dilution.
In cases of emerging viral pathogens such as COVID-19, the EPA implements the Emerging Viral Pathogens Guidance for Antimicrobial Products. In the case of enveloped viruses such as COVID-19, hospital or broad-spectrum disinfectants (including Rescue™) can be used in accordance with the directions for use against Poliovirus type 1 on hard, non-porous surfaces. Therefore, Rescue™ Wipes, Ready-to-Use Liquid, and Concentrate can be used against COVID-19 when used in accordance with the directions for use.
View the Rescue™ Disinfectant safety data sheet

COVID-19 Daily Updates | Animals | People | Community Planning | Usable Communications