NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Multiple North Texas animal shelters and rescue organizations are working together to urge the public to include pets in their emergency planning regarding COVID-19.

“When you make plans for your family, remember to include your pets,” said Irving Animal Services Manager Corey Price. “Life can change rapidly with COVID-19, and pet-owners must pre-plan for the safety and security of their animals.”

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The shelters recommend staying up to date on COVID-19 facts from legitimate sources like the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization and American Veterinary Medicine Association, having a backup plan for pet care and/or boarding in case you are hospitalized; and preparing a supply kit for your pet.

“If you were hospitalized, the ideal plan is for your pet to stay at home and receive care from another family member,” said Fort Worth Animal Care and Control Assistant Director of Animal Welfare Dr. Tim Morton. “However, it’s important to be prepared for all possible scenarios, so we recommend that you also request help from a friend or neighbor.”

In addition to considering emergency boarding, the shelters recommend preparing an emergency supply kit for your pet which should include:

· a two-week supply of food; any medication the pet is on;

· vaccination records and your vet’s contact information;

· collar with ID tags; daily care instructions;

· a crate, leash or carrier;

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· any additional toys or treats to make your pet feel more comfortable.

Be sure to inform your emergency pet care provider where these supplies are located.

Many community organizations also are assisting pet owners in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The SPCA of Texas’ Pet Resource Center is here to assist pet owners who are struggling due to illness or financial challenges related to COVID-19,” said Karen Froehlich, President and CEO of the SPCA of Texas.

For assistance obtaining pet food or medical care for pets, the public should visit the SPCA of Texas’ Pet Resource Center online.

For pet owners in need in the Fort Worth-area, pet food is available through Don’t Forget to Feed Me (5825 E Rosedale St, Fort Worth, TX 76112) as well as the Community Food Bank (3000 Galvez Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76111).

National organizations, such as RedRover, are also offering financial assistance for pet owners hospitalized for COVID-19.

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