Veterinarians say humans safe from COVID-19 while snuggling pets

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CLAY COUNTY – There hasn’t been any evidence of a transfer of the coronavirus from pets to humans or vice versa, but owners should still prepare for quarantine at home with their pets.

Nobody wants their furry best friend to get sick. While there’s a lot of other things that can cross-contaminate germs between you and your pet, so far there have been no risks to hugging your pets when it comes to the coronavirus.

However, as more businesses in Florida temporarily close to combat the virus, a quarantine at home could be in your future. Local veterinarians recommend stocking up on pet-related supplies now just in case a quarantine is put into place.

“At this point in time, there are no transmissions from humans to pets or from pets to humans,” Clay Humane Society Senior Staff Veterinarian Christian Broadhurst said. “However, you should be prepared to be in your home with your pet for the next however long all of this ends up being. Make sure you have enough food, litter and medicine for your pets.”

Broadhurst said pet owners should treat the coronavirus crisis as a hurricane-style disaster as far as supply demand goes, and he reiterated that the coronavirus poses no health risk to pets, be it a cat, dog or something else.

If you’re still looking to stock up on supplies for your pets, the Petco in Fleming Island is still open. Petco CEO Ron Coughlin said he believes Petco is an essential business at this time.

“We understand that maintaining supplies for the entire family includes your pets and for more than 50 years, we’ve served as a vital one stop shop in serving the needs of pets and families,” Coughlin said. “Some suggest non-essential businesses close their doors. We believe pets are a part of their family, and feeding and caring for them is always essential.”

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day during the outbreak.

Clay Humane Society Executive Director Linda Welzant said the Humane Society is still open but its hours have been shortened.

Elective surgeries, or non-emergency surgeries, have been suspended. The feral cat Wednesday program has been suspended as well.

Clay County’s Animal Services are still open but access is limited to the shelter. It’s recommended that people call the shelter at (904) 269-6342 to schedule appointments for things like owner reclaims and foster pick-ups. Adoptable, lost, and found pets from your area can be viewed at www.FindingRover.com.

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