Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, there's been a lot of rumors going around about the virus and your pet.

First off, according to cdc.gov, coronaviruses belong to a large family of viruses that can cause cold like symptoms in people, while other strands of the virus can affect certain types of animals. Some forms of the virus, such as canine and feline coronavirus, only infect animals and do not infect humans.

With that being said, it's important to know that it is very, very unlikely that your pet will have COVID-19. The CDC is reporting that at this time there is no evidence that your pet can spread the virus, or that they might be a source of infection, at least in the United States.

Our friend Wendy from the Animal Welfare Society in New Milford has seen rare cases of coronavirus in dogs, but as she said, "it's not the same as the virus we're experiencing now. There is no reason to think that any animals including pets might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus".

So do we have to quarantine from our pets if we come down with the virus?

Wendy says yes, "it's not because the animal will catch the virus from you, it's because you can shed the virus on their fur, and the virus can live there for a while. If you cough into your hand and then pet your dog, then the virus is on their fur, so then guess what happens? The next person who pets your dog now has been cross contaminated, and has the virus on them. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask."

Since this strand of the coronavirus is so new, and little is currently known about it, it's always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. For more information on the many benefits of pet ownership, as well as staying safe and healthy around animals including pets, livestock, and wildlife, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.

Right now, the Animal Welfare Society is not allowing visitors into the shelter. They posted this message on their website:

Due to the recent news and closures across the state, as of Friday 3/13/20, we have suspended all adoption visiting hours and events until further notice.

Applicants with an approved adoption form can still meet and adopt our animals by scheduling an appointment. Appointments can be made by calling 860-354-1350

Dog/Cat Adoptions: If you are interested in adopting one of our dogs or cats, please fill out an application online.

We will not be able to accommodate any walk-in visitors or drop-in applications at this time.

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