Frequently asked questions about COVID-19

What precautions are being taken by PETS Referral Center?


There is no higher priority than the safety of our team, patients and clients. As the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise nationwide, including in the communities we serve, we have an obligation to help mitigate the spread of the virus. In our effort to keep our hospitals open to provide care for our pet patients, while also protecting ourselves and the public, we are working within the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and County Public Health Departments to keep our hospitals and staff free of the virus. We have implemented additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures that meets or exceeds CDC recommendations, including disinfecting all surfaces more frequently. Frequent hand washing, using gloves and avoiding touching our nose, eyes and mouth are protocols we are following. We will also not be shaking hands or hugging to prevent viral transmission. Our staff has strict instructions not to come to work if they or someone in their family is sick, coughing or has a fever. Because of this, we may be short staffed at times, causing increased wait times for you and your pet. Our emergency service continues to work on a triage basis, and the more critically ill patients will be treated ahead of others, meaning pets may not be seen in the order of arrival; please be understanding if it takes us longer than usual to have your pet examined and treated. Our client service representatives will do their best to keep you informed of wait times. On the flip side of this, we are asking clients to please not come to our hospital if you or a member of your family have a fever, cough, or cold-like symptoms. If possible, please stay home and send your pet with another person to be evaluated and treated. We also ask that all persons not necessary for the decision making regarding your pet’s care stay at home or in their car to decrease the number of people in our lobby and exam rooms. If you are ill and cannot find another person to bring in your sick pet, please call us once you arrive in the parking lot so we may utilize appropriate protocols to protect our staff. To limit exposure, we may take your pet and ask you to remain in your vehicle. If your pet needs to be hospitalized, we will not accept toys, bedding, or other personal items. While there is currently no evidence that pets become ill from COVID-19, or that they transmit it to other animals and humans, we may take extra precautions with your pet if there is a family member displaying symptoms. These protocols are in place for the safety of you, your family and our team. Please help us protect our staff and their families who are at increased risk of severe complications. Thank you for working with us to protect everyone, The staff of PETS




Information from the American Veterinary Medical Association


Link to FAQ from the American Veterinary Medical Association




Can pets transmit the COVID-19 virus via their haircoats?


Maybe. Haircoats are probably similar to other hand contact surfaces (but more mobile). If
someone is infected and touches or coughs on their pet, it’s reasonable to assume the virus
could be deposited on the coat. How long it survives there isn’t known, but it’s presumably going to be able to persist for hours, if not more. At this point, that’s one of the main reasons why we want infected people to limit contact with pets and use good hygiene.




Should I be worried about catching COVID-19 from my dog or cat?


No. Human and veterinary infectious disease experts around the world have investigated this question and agree that there is no evidence to suggest cats and dogs can become ill with COVID-19 or that they can transmit it to people or other pets. That said, infected people should isolate themselves from their pets, because pets could theoretically “carry” the virus itself on their coats, acting just like a contaminated surface (see below).





PETS Referral Center

1048 University Avenue,

Berkeley, CA 94710

Tel: 510-548-6684

Fax: 510-841-7387

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