Ever since my therapy cat visits have been put on hold, I’ve been at a loss for ways to make myself helpful. I mean, sure, I make you guys smile with my blog posts, but I can’t curl up with patients and offer healing purrs, or get petted by hospital staff. In fact, I worry a lot about the hospital workers I’ve gotten to know over the years. They are on the front lines of this Covid-19 pandemic, and very much at risk of getting ill themselves.
I think of them often, and send purrs from afar.
Then a few days ago, my fellow therapy pet team member, Apple the golden retriever, contacted me on Instagram. She was putting together a public service announcement. While there are lots of these collages on Instagram, featuring multiple pets and urging people to stay home, this one had a different mission. It was all about being prepared in case you get sick and have to leave your pets behind while you are in the hospital. This collage included four words, “Make a Pet Plan,” four of us therapy pets, and a caption on how to create a plan. Of course I said yes!
The other three words were provided by Love on 4 Paws therapy dogs. I provided Plan.
This is my photo. You can see the collage that appeared on Instagram below.
To make it easier to view, I’ve included the text from the caption here — I think it’s important reading. I didn’t write it, but it needs to be passed around.
“We are living in scary and unprecedented times. While it’s not fun to imagine, it is important that our pawrents take the time NOW to create a plan for us pets in case our pawrents get sick or are hospitalized due to COVID-19.
Here’s what the pawrents need to do:
- Know the facts: According to the CDC, there is no evidence that people can get COVID-19 from pets. The best place for us pets is inside the home we know and love. If our pawrents aren’t feeling well but are still able to provide care for us, keep us home.
- If our pawrents become too ill to physically care for us or if our pawrents need to be hospitalized, they need to identify someone who could take over care for us. Is there anyone else in our home who could help? Maybe a neighbor, friend, coworker, or family member who could take us in? Even a groomer, daycare, or boarding facility may be able to help in a time of need with advance notice. But the most important thing our pawrents can do today is come up with two potential pet plans and talk directly with those people so they’re prepared in case they’re called to action.
- Prepare a pet supply kit. It may not seem necessary today, but it will be hugely helpful if the pawrents find themselves in an emergency situation without the ability to track down the proper supplies. If possible, the kit should include:
- Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
- Name and contact information for a back-up in case your go-to is no longer able to help
- Food, treats, a leash, a couple of toys, and any other supplies necessary to care for your pet for at least two weeks
- A crate or carrier to transport your pet
- Vaccination records
- Collar with ID tags (don’t forget to make sure their microchip info is up to date)
- Medications and prescriptions, along with instructions
- Daily care instructions
- Your vet’s contact information
Shout out to @wischumane for initiating this important Public Service Announcement. Please help spread the word.”
If you want to spread the word too, you can copy it from my Instagram post, and make sure to include the shout out and the hashtag #makeapetplan.