Preventing lost & homeless pets from entering shelters during COVID-19

  1. Help get wandering animals back to their owners 

    And help them stay there so they don’t have to be impounded. See what to do, step-by-step in these resources: Found a Cat  and Found a Dog.

    Council Animal Management departments may be required to reduce service provision due to COVID-19, so you can play a very important role in getting animals back home, and even perhaps offering support to owners struggling to keep their animals at home. (Make sure you follow the latest directives from public health officials. Most of the steps involved can still be done without physical contact, including reuniting an animal with its owner.)

  2. Use the extra time you have at home to build effective low-cost fencing or enclosures FOR your cat

    You can prevent your cat from wandering and getting injured or being impounded. (This will also help by conserving supplies at vet clinics and making it easier to care for animals in pounds if staff numbers are reduced during this time).  

    Find out how to build your own cat fencing or enclosure AND keep your cat safe and happy in the Keeping Cats Safe Booklet here.

    You will also have more time to get your cat used to not wandering, by providing more cuddles, play or just company – whatever your cat enjoys. Find out more about cat enrichment here.

  3. Check that all your animals have proper ID tags

    Including contact information and up to date microchip registry contact details. This will help your neighbours get your pets back to you if your pets go missing, and prevent them from being impounded. 

    Cats are more likely to go wandering over the fence than dogs.  Don’t just assume they’re OK and will come back. Cats can get stuck somewhere or hide if scared and may be injured or impounded.  To avoid this, download the step-by-step guides:  Lost Your Cat? or Lost Your Dog? . (Make sure you follow the latest directives from public health officials. Most of the steps involved can still be done without physical contact or leaving your home, using on-line or phone messaging between neighbours who can message other neighbours you don’t know, instead of paper fliers at this time.)

  4. Offer support to people in your street with pets.

    They may be struggling to provide for their pets. Phone them to find out what food their animals eat and provide some food, or offer to get it for them when you go out to get your essentials from the supermarket or order on-line. Offer to take animals for a walk or care for them for a couple of weeks if their owner is unwell, or has to go to hospital. (Make sure you follow the latest directives from public health officials.)

  5. Seek help 

    if you are struggling to care for your own animals during this difficult time. It is far better that your animals stay with you at this time, with pounds and shelters under extra pressure. So firstly, phone or email your neighbours or friends to see if they can temporarily help you care for your animal, in case it becomes necessary. Contact your local shelter for advice and assistance. If you live in south-east Queensland, you can call AWLQ on 55099000 if you need some advice or emergency help to care for your pet. 

Please note: According to the World Organization for Animal Health , there is no evidence, to date, that companion animals can transmit coronavirus (COVID-19) to people. It is possible that the virus could be carried on their coat or other body parts if they have interacted with an infected person. To protect yourself, and your pet, don't allow your pets to roam or meet new people. Continue to practice good personal hygiene during interactions with animals. This includes washing your hands before and after interactions or handling animal food, waste or supplies. Go to the OIE website here for more information.