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  • Pima County Pets and COVID-19 FAQ's

    Can my pets get COVID-19?

    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. 

    I heard a tiger was infected by a zookeeper? Is that true?

    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. 

    Is PACC housing animals whose owners have COVID-19?

    Not yet, but we’re likely to receive these pets in the next couple of days. They’ll be housed at PACC in a non-public area and will be segregating from the rest of our pet population, as well as volunteers, for the CDC and AVMA-recommended period of 14 days. During that time, they’ll get kennel enrichment and care from vet techs and staff members, but will not be handled. They can be reclaimed by their owner or a designated friend or family member during the period. If they’re not reclaimed at the end of the 14 days, PACC will determine if they need longer-term holding or if they can be made available if owners cannot or do not want to reclaim. If we believe an owner wants their pet back and needs longer term emergency boarding, we are working with our partners at Central Pet to provide boarding vouchers on a case-by-case basis. 

    How do I prepare to keep my pet safe at home if I get COVID-19?

    It’s all about having a solid plan. Here is the complete guidance we shared last week 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. 

    If I get sick, can I still cuddle with my pets?

    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. 

    Do I need to worry about COVID-19 being carried on the fur of my pets or other pets I interact with?

    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

    If I am fostering a pet and I get sick, should I bring that pet back to the shelter

    ? 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 PACC, you can contact our animal protection dispatch line at 520-724-5900, extension 4. 

    If I care for community cats, should I be worried about them getting and spreading COVID-19?

    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. 

    Why is PACC only performing essential functions right now?

    PACC 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 PACC 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.

    Are you still doing adoptions, foster placement and emergency intake?

    Yes. We are performing all of those services by appointment only. Please visit the PACC website for more information. 

    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?

    You can visit the Pima Animal Care Center Pet Support Center online or call us at 520-724-2222. 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. 

    You can also visit codysfriends.org to request food assistance for your pets. 
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    Animal Care Center

    4000 N. Silverbell Rd.
    Tucson, AZ 85745
    (520) 724-5900
    FAX: (520) 724-5960

    By appointment only, unless there is an emergency. If there is an emergency, please call  724-5900 and press 4.

    Ajo Substation

    1249 N Well Rd
    Ajo, AZ 85321
    (520) 387-7502

    By appointment only, unless there is an emergency. If there is an emergency, please call 724-5900 and press 4

       Monday:  11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
       Wednesday: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
       Wednesday: 4:30pm-6:30pm
       Friday:  11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

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