COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness

Tips on including your pets in an emergency preparedness plan:

Make a Plan.  Carry it with you.  Leave it easy to find at home.
  1. Prepare an emergency kit: Keep at least a two-week supply of pet food and water for your pets, as well as any medications they may need and a travel crate properly labeled with your pet’s name and your contact information.
  2. Identify a trusted person to care for your pets. Family, friends or neighbours would be a good place to start: Have at least three options lined up in case they become sick or hospitalized. Ensure you have spoken with your trusted person(s) before you consider them an option. Some things to consider
    1. Do they have a key?
    2. Do they know where to find food, treats, any medications, kitty litter, toys?
    3. Are there special instructions regarding behaviour? routines?
    4. Who do they call if there is a pet emergency? Do you have a vet?
  1. Create a written emergency plan for each pet: Include your name and contact information, your pet’s feeding schedule and type of food, any medical conditions, medications and treatment instructions. Document your pet’s vaccination status, and list the contact information for your veterinarian.

Unless you are hospitalized and live alone, the best place for your pets is home with you.

By creating a plan ahead of time you can ensure that your pets will be cared for, reduce the burden on animal shelters and rescues and reduce the stress on your pet.

No pet left behind in the times of COVID 19.
HBSPCA open for compassionate boarding

There may be persons hospitalized for treatment who do not have alternatives for pet care while in hospital. “Pets are family members, and this approach prevents pet surrender, relieves anxiety about care, and gives hope to pet parents”, says Marion Emo, CEO. “Working together with Zachary’s PAWS for Healing, we know that pets are people’s best friends and sometimes only friend.  Offering compassionate boarding for persons experiencing the coronavirus is the right thing to do”.

The compassionate boarding program provides up to 14 days of boarding at the HBSPCA on Dartnall and with ZPFH depending on the space available and animals’ circumstances. Pets may include cats, dogs, small critters and small birds.

“We don’t know yet what the need will be for compassionate boarding”, says Donna Jenkins, Founder of ZPFH. “Caring for pets when pet parents fall ill is important. We’re ready as usual and can be counted on to help patients’ pets.”

As always, pet families are encouraged to make plans for pet care in the event of absence from home, with for instance friends, families or neighbours. Sometimes this is not possible. Referrals to the compassionate boarding program can be made by health care staff to Michelle Macnab at

“We are very grateful to our supporters for compassionate boarding”,  Marion Emo goes on to say. “PetSmart Charities of Canada® has provided an emergency grant to help board pets in need who belong to clients of our Community Veterinary Outreach Program. And Royal Canin has donated food to help feed pet companions in care”.

The Community Veterinary Outreach Program is supported by a partnership with Community Veterinary Outreach