Veterinarian: Pets safe from COVID-19 virus


By Ethan Young - For the Sidney Daily News



SIDNEY — While the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is currently a huge problem for people across the world, are animals also susceptible to its effects?

According to Dr. Greg Schmeising of Flinn Veterinary Clinic, “Pets and other animals aren’t at risk of being infected with the coronavirus.

“There is no concern of animals being carriers of the virus. I want to reassure people that pets are totally safe to be around, make sure to give them extra love since many people are home more than usual,” he said.

Even when asked about the case of the tiger in the Bronx Zoo who has contracted COVID-19, Schmiesing is confident no connection existed between that case and the animals that people come into contact with daily.

Officials at Tri-County Veterinary Service agreed with Schmiesing’s assessment, saying, “At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that pets or livestock can become ill with COVID-19 or transmit the virus to humans.”

During these uncertain times, Flinn Veterinary Clinic has adopted special procedures to keep people safe as they seek care for their pets. Flinn has asked people to remain in their cars when visiting the clinic, as employees will bring medicine and other necessary items out.

Some elective surgeries have also been postponed, like adult dog vaccinations or neutering/spaying, as the need to conserve valuable medical equipment, like masks and gloves increases. Puppies still need their vaccinations, as their health is most at risk when young.

Tri-County Vet Services also has changed their policies.

“Routine appointments should be postponed to a later date to minimize human-to-human contact and adhere to social distancing recommendations. Keeping your pet up-to-date on any medications they are taking as well as heartworm and flea/tick prevention is essential,” said Tri-County Vete spokesperson. Tri-County adopted a similar system to Flinn, asking clients to stay in their vehicles and let a team member approach them.

After being reassured of the safety of being around a pet, many people can enjoy more time spent with their pets then usual. Dogs, cats, and other pets can provide great companions during this time of social distancing and isolation, so contacting your local animal shelter can be a great way to start the process of adoption.

The Shelby County Animal Shelter has seen consistent adoption over this time, with new pets being adopted every week. When considering pet adoption, take into account the research needed beforehand. Make sure you have the money to feed and take care of a pet, especially in this tight economic time. Supplies for pets can be bought online, but vet trips are limited right now due to COVID-19. Due to the mandates put in the by the state, the shelter has created new policies for prospective owners.

The adoption process must be followed and when visiting the shelter, employees leave the animals in an outside visiting area to minimize contact with prospective pet owners. To adopt a pet please follow the steps below:

To schedule an adoption appointment for a cat or a dog contact the animal shelter at 937-498-7201.

• Adoption appointments will be made between 1 and 3:30 p.m.

• Approved application must exist prior to an appointment. Contact the animal shelter to have an application emailed.

• Dog tags can still be purchased by contacting the animal shelter.

By Ethan Young

For the Sidney Daily News