Pets and COVID-19

Important information regarding pets and the COVID-19 situation:

The Jacksonville Humane Society understands the growing concerns surrounding coronavirus, COVID-19, across our community. We are closely monitoring the situation and following protocol as laid out by animal welfare expert agencies, the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

At JHS, our concerns are the safety of our pets, our staff, our volunteers, and our community. We would like to echo the statements of the CDC:

  • There is currently no known reason to believe that any animals, including pets in the United States, can contract or spread COVID-19.
  • To date, the CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.
  • The CDC recommends following everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of illness, which includes washing your hands.

JHS follows proper protocol at our shelter in terms of the proper disinfection of our facility.

JHS recommends that, like in preparation for any disaster, you make plans that include your pet. A few steps you can take include:

  1. Making a plan with your family and network that includes contingencies to care for your pet should you be hospitalized or otherwise unable to provide care.
  2. Having a supply of pet food and necessities.
  3. Keep pet vaccinations up to date in case you must consider boarding.

As Floridians, many of us are used to taking these steps to prepare for hurricanes. Similarly, Floridians generously support shelters and pets in those times. This is one of those times and we need your help.

Currently, our municipal city shelter has suspended the intake of any dogs into their facility due to a medical issue NOT related to COVID-19. The related increase of dogs coming to JHS, coupled with facing the possibility that we may lose staff and volunteers in the near future due to exposure risk and public closures, is not ideal. JHS is taking a pro-active approach to this situation and asking for your support with the following:

  • Foster Homes – We need fosters who are willing to care for dogs and cats for a minimum of 30 days. We have dogs that can go home with other dogs, cats, and children.
  • Donations – You can visit or donate food (dog and cat) to our pet food bank.
  • Share – Please help us share the message of preparing for your own pets and that there is no connection between pets and the spread of COVID-19.
  • Adopt – If you are thinking about adoption, now is a great time! We will waive adoption fees for anyone who donates a bag of pet food, hand sanitizer, or toilet paper to our shelter.

Lastly, JHS’ annual fundraiser, Mutt March, is scheduled for Saturday, April 11th. We are monitoring the situation but for now, Mutt March is still a go. Mutt March is one of our largest fundraisers. Registration is still open, including the option to be a virtual walker. All registrants have the ability to create a personal fundraising page to help JHS reach our $150,000 fundraising goal for dogs and cats. Should plans for Mutt March change, we will post on Facebook, our website, and notify all registrants.

Your support for JHS in times of need has been unwavering and we know that together, we can weather any storm that comes our way. Keep calm, wash your hands, and foster a dog, Jacksonville!

Last update: 3/12/20 1:15 p.m.