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East Bay animal shelters work to curb overcrowding amid COVID-19 pandemic

Bay Area

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – East Bay animal shelters are concerned about a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases.​

In Contra Costa County, animal services has already transferred dozens of pets into foster care in recent weeks.​

That’s because they anticipate needing room in their facilities should pet owners become sick for extended periods and won’t be able to care for their animals.​

That’s why animal services say pet owners need to develop their own emergency plans.

Due to the extended stay at home order issued by Contra Costa Health Services, county animal services currently will only take in sick or injured pets at this time.​

This is in regard to the novel coronavirus pandemic.​

“At the shelter, we’ve worked over the last two to three weeks to get as many animals as possible out into foster care. So, far, we’ve moved over 70 animals out into foster care,”​Kathy Mills said. 

As the number of COVID-19 cases grow, animal services are asking the public to prepare for the possibility that as pet owners, they may at one point become infected with the virus and require extended medical attention relying on animal shelters to care for your pets is the wrong way to go.​

Shelter capacity is limited and should only be considered an emergency resource.​

“This has allowed us to create a lot of space here in our shelter, for any animals that may come in if their owners end up being hospitalized and they have nobody else to care for them,” Mills said. ​

Coordinate with a neighbor or family member about taking in your pets should you become ill.​

Put together a pet supply bag, with food, medical other supplies to last for up to two weeks.​

Put your plan in writing, and leave it in the bag with your contact information, along with your pet’s medical history.​

“All those types of things that would be needed if somebody in an emergency situation need to come to your home or take your pet in to make sure your pets are provided for,” Mills said. ​

Alameda County animal services shares the same advice.​

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