Free Hotline Offers Help To Animal Lovers And Their Pets During The Pandemic

With so much of the city shuttered for the foreseeable future, it can be difficult to figure out what to do if your pet starts acting strange or showing signs of illness. While emergency veterinarians and pet-supply shops are considered essential services, it can still be difficult to determine whether your furry family member needs to be rushed in to see the doctor or whether a simple home remedy might suffice. 

To help New Yorkers experiencing financial and logistical challenges during the pandemic, the city set up subsidized emergency vet and pet food services — and even temporary boarding for owners infected with the virus who want to keep their dogs and cats away. Some have had trouble figuring out how to access these services, though. So to help mitigate everyone’s confusion and pet-related stress, New York City’s Office of Emergency Management has set up a hotline New Yorkers can call if they have questions about their pets and COVID-19.

Patch reports that the NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline is available for pet owners seeking the information they need to get pets safely through the pandemic. The hotline will connect owners to subsidized emergency-vet and pet-food services, offer referrals and even board pets whose owners have contracted the virus. 

You can reach the hotline at 877-204-8821 from 8a to 8p daily. And if you’re wondering how best to keep your pet safe and healthy during the pandemic, here are the official CDC guidelines:

—Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household

—Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people

—Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals

—Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather

photo: iStock