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SPCA offers shelter for animals for people with COVID

21 August 2020
SPCA offers shelter for animals for people with COVID

SPCA is preparing to take in animals from people suddenly put into mandatory quarantine following a positive test for COVID.

MPI’s Animal Welfare and Emergency Management Committee met with SPCA earlier this week and discussed options around pet care for those people with animals that need to be cared for during their time in quarantine.

It is SPCA’s preference that those with animals are offered ‘animal-friendly’ quarantine facilities, however, where this is not possible, SPCA asks that everyone have a readiness plan in case they find themselves in a similar position. New Zealand’s largest animal welfare organisation is providing assistance for people in being able to plan for the unexpected and organising other people to look after their animals (e.g. neighbours, friends, whanau).

Where all avenues have been exhausted, MPI and SPCA have agreed that SPCA will step in and take care of the animals as the charity organisation is compliant with the Animal Welfare Act, Codes of Welfare, understands Privacy Act requirements, and has a Code of Conduct for staff.

SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen says SPCA has already received a number of enquiries from members of the public concerned about what will happen to their pets if a positive COVID test is returned.

“It seems like the appropriate course of action for us to do given the current situation and that we have procedures to attend to animals from COVID-19 positive households,” she says.

“In Auckland we are still in Level 3 lockdown, so there are strict procedures that staff have to follow, but we are prepared for any eventuality and will gladly help MPI if needed.”

“At this stage, it looks like the cluster is mainly in Auckland and appears to be contained, and there have been no specific requests yet from people who have tested positive, but it is the right thing to do should any animals need our help.”

In the first instance, SPCA recommends everyone prior to and in the case of any emergency, have a readiness plan that includes their animals.

SPCA has a national network of shelters with documented processes around animals coming in from COVID-19 positive households that operate under the code of welfare for the temporary housing of companion animals: https://www.spca.nz/

Additional information is also on the COVID-19 website.

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