The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, from the loss of jobs to making obligated payments to remaining healthy. One aspect that may be overlooked during these tough times is the need to care for pets. State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. wants to provide pet owners with resources they can use during this health crisis.
According to the CDC, currently there is no evidence to suggest that animals play a significant role in spreading COVID-19, and based on the limited information available as of their August 24 update, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
“Pets and service animals are important members of the family, and they require the same love and care as they usually get during this pandemic,” Addabbo said. “However, pet owners may be facing financial burdens due to COVID-19 and could be in need of information and resources to provide their pets with the food and services they need.”
In order to help New York City residents with pets, the NYC Emergency Management Department and the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare created the NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline — an information, planning, referral and service coordination resource for pet owners that works with partner organizations through the City’s Animal Planning Task Force to field service needs and requests.
Pet Hotline operators can be reached at 877-204-8821 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
The Pet Hotline will help keep people and pets together by responding to questions and concerns about keeping pets safe during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as connect callers to pet relief resources such as subsidized emergency veterinary care, food and supply distribution services, and temporary placement or supplemental care of animals.
To stay up to date on the ASPCA’s COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts, visit https://www.aspca.org/animal-protection/covid-19.
The Animal Care Centers of NYC also has a list of services, resources and frequently asked questions for pet owners on how to care for their pets, what to do if someone finds a stray animal or needs to give up their pet, as well as short-term emergency measures. For more information, visit https://www.nycacc.org/help.
“We all should be able to get through this pandemic and that includes our animals. I hope this information is helpful to pet owners, as we cope with and address the issues related to COVID-19,” Addabbo concluded.