PVAS FAQ | COVID FAQ | KEY MESSAGES
We are now providing CURBSIDE ADOPTIONS - How it works: view pets online; choose a pet, note the ID#; make an adoption appointment, (Trenton 956-686-1141 Ext 21/22, Andrews 956-720-4563, email@example.com); drive to your appointment, remain in your vehicle; call to let us know you’ve arrived; PVAS staff will come to your vehicle (you need: animal ID#, your personal ID); relax in your vehicle and we will take care of the rest!
WE NEED FOSTER HOMES - PVAS needs to move as many animals as possible out of the shelter and into foster homes. Learn more and apply to foster here.
Please do not surrender healthy pets. Holding a healthy pet at home for 4 weeks will help to keep shelter population down and reduce the possibility of euthanizing for space.
Please don’t “kitnap” litters of kittens found outdoors. If the mother is not there leave the kittens where they are, as she’s most often hunting or getting water and will return shortly. Check back to see if the mother returns.
Q: Why can’t I surrender my (healthy) pet?
A: Right now, adoptions are down because people are avoiding being in public. Around 40% of our intake comes from owner surrenders. Those two things combined would mean a whole lot of pets coming in, but not going out into loving homes. We are trying our best to avoid overcrowding. We want to maintain space for the pets that need us.
Q: Why do you need me to hold this stray pet?
A: That’s a great question. PVAS is asking people who find friendly stray pets to consider fostering them until the shelter can resume normal operations. This could be around 4-6 weeks. Pets typically stay pretty close to home when they go missing, so fostering them where they are found helps get pets home much more quickly. The pets also avoid the stress of the shelter. Stray finders can take the pet to a vet clinic or to PVAS to check for a microchip, file a found report, and hold the pet to give the owner time to locate it.
Q: Are you stopping operations? Are you closing??
A: No. The change will mostly impact the owner surrender appointments. About 40% of the pets who enter PVAS are given up by their owners. We are asking owners who are not facing an immediate crisis to hold their pets for up to four weeks, and to surrender at a later date. For any pet owners who need to surrender immediately, we will still take their pets at their scheduled intake time.
Q: How can I help?
A: First of all, THANK YOU!
Foster: The shelter is also looking for around 200 “on call” emergency fosters, who can take home a pet if PVAS reaches critical capacity. PVAS will need fosters for all types of pets but housing for medium and large dogs and pets with medical issues will be most needed. PVAS provides vet care, crates, supplies, and food. People can sign up to be an on-call emergency foster caregiver: On-Call Foster Application
Donate: Donate to support PVAS coronavirus response efforts: https://pvastx.org/donate
Donate supplies from PVAS’ Amazon Wish List: https://a.co/cPSMBwS
Q: Can my pets get COVID-19?
A: The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says “It appears cats and dogs are not readily infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), we have little to no evidence they become ill, and no evidence that those that may be naturally infected spread [it] to other pets or people.” The entire statement can be found here, and it is helpful for pet owners and those who care for community cats.
Q: I heard a tiger was infected by a zookeeper? Is that true?
A: Yes, there are several tigers at the Bronx zoo who are showing symptoms of being infected and one that has tested positive. You can read the full USDA statement here. The good news is the tigers seem to be doing okay, and again there is zero evidence that tigers or companion animals can transmit this to people.
Q: How do I prepare to keep my pet safe at home if I get COVID-19?
A: It’s all about having a solid plan. Here’s a guide about being ready to shelter your pets in place if you get COVID-19. Key messages are to identify a temporary caregiver in case you are hospitalized, and put together an emergency supply kit for your pet.
Temporary Caregiver Form | PVAS Shelter In Place Guide
Q: If I get sick, can I still cuddle with my pets?
A: The CDC recommends that if you are sick, you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would with people. You can read their complete recommendations here. The important thing to remember is there are a lot of unknowns, and while experts believe the risk of human to pet transmission is very low, it’s better to be cautious and avoid close contact with your pets while you are sick. If you do need to handle your pets while you are ill, the CDC recommends avoiding being kissed or licked by your pet and washing your hands before you interact with them.
Q: Do I need to worry about COVID-19 being carried on the fur of my pets or other pets I interact with?
A: The CDC guidance says at this time, “there is no evidence the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread to people from the skin or fur of pets.” You can read their complete FAQ on pets and COVID here.
Q: If I am fostering a pet and I get sick, should I bring that pet back to the shelter
A: We are recommending that anyone who can shelters in place with their pet, whether that is a foster pet or owned animal. If you are sick and you need help getting your pet back to PVAS, you can contact the shelter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (956) 686-1141.
Q: If I care for community cats, should I be worried about them getting and spreading COVID-19?
A: There is no current evidence to suggest community cats will become infected or spread COVID-19. If you care for cats or any other pet that appear to be sick, you should consult your veterinarian.
Q: Why is PVAS only performing essential functions right now?
A: PVAS is following all guidelines and recommendations from the AVMA, Association of Shelter Veterinarians, and the National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA). Among the recommendations from NACA is the guidance to only perform essential functions in order to minimize human-to-human contact, keep people safe, and reduce the number of pets entering the shelter to help PVAS maintain a cushion of space for sick and injured pets, animals suffering from cruelty and neglect, dogs that pose a public safety risk, and pets whose owners are hospitalized with COVID-19.
Q: Are you still doing adoptions, foster placement and emergency intake?
Yes. We are performing all of those services by appointment only. See the top of this page for more information.
Q: I’m experiencing food insecurity or I cannot afford care for my pet due to job loss or other impact of COVID-19. Is there anywhere I can go for help?
A: You can call the shelter at (956) 686-1141. Our staff are here to provide counseling and to tell you where you can go for food, supplies and where you can find low cost medical care. We are here to support you and your pets through this uncertain time.
The health and safety of our pets and the community is our top priority. According to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that companion animals have been infected or could spread coronavirus (COVID-19). https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Foster homes needed now! We are requesting emergency foster homes that can keep pets for four to six weeks. The goal is to increase our foster base by 50% in case we are forced to close. If you’re interested in fostering a pet, email us at email@example.com.
All non-essential personnel in our shelter have been asked to work remotely. That means we have a minimal staff working at the shelter right now, ensuring that pets are fed, walked and kennels are clean.
The public can also help pets in the shelter by volunteering. Caring for the animals does not stop, even if we have to close. Walking dogs, cleaning kennels and feeding, will still have to happen. Email us about volunteering at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a standard best practice, we ask that all pets have proper ID tags with contact information and that their microchip is up to date. This will help your neighbors get your pet back to you in the event they go missing, and will prevent them from having to enter the shelter.
If you find a lost pet, file a found report, hold the pet you found, and attempt to get the pet back to its owners through posting flyers and using Nextdoor and Lost and Found pages.
Pet owners should wait to surrender their pet and should rehome pets to friends and family if they're able to do so.