In communities like ours around the world, people are doing all they can to confront the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Individuals, businesses, and organizations are working hard to enhance cleaning procedures, practice social distancing, and find solutions to reduce the spread of this deadly virus. At the Animals & Society Institute, the well-being of our staff, volunteers, members, supporters, and our global neighbors remains paramount during these difficult times.
We know COVID-19 is zoonotic, meaning it can be transferred from animals to people. The pandemic is creating international movements to end so-called wet markets, where wild animals are slaughtered and sold as food, right on the premises, usually in an outdoor market. We believe continued research into the role of wildlife trade in the emergence of pandemics should guide government discussions and decisions.
However, know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued advisories asserting there is no evidence at this time that companion animals can spread the COVID-19 virus. We know the important role animals play in our physical and emotional well-being, especially in times of stress and uncertainty. Now more than ever, companion animal relationships can help sustain us when we must reduce contact with other humans.
We know that animal shelters throughout the country have been negatively impacted. Some are closing, others are reducing hours to protect staff and the public. In these trying times, please consider adopting or fostering a homeless animal to help prevent needless companion animal euthanasia during the duration of this pandemic. Contact your local shelter for information on how you can help. In addition, the Humane Society of the United States is an excellent resource for questions about COVID-19 and pets.
Other sources for the latest information on COVID-19 include:
•World Organization for Animal Health (OIE): Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
We owe a profound debt of gratitude to health professionals and those on the front lines of this pandemic. We urge you to stay informed, follow recommended precautions, and do what you can to support animal-related nonprofit organizations.