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ASPCA Commits $5 Million in COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative to Help Animal Welfare Organizations and Pet Owners

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has launched a $5 million initiative called ‘the ASPCA Relief & Recovery Initiative’ which includes a $2 million donation to animal welfare organizations in critical need of funds and pet food to pet owners who face challenges providing food for their animals.

ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker said: “In addition to the unprecedented challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created for people, it is also putting animals at-risk by straining essential owner and shelter resources. Considering the vital role pets play in our lives – especially in times of crisis and stress – it’s extremely important to safeguard their health and welfare as much as we possibly can. We are grateful to work with generous donors and the larger animal welfare community who are stepping up, thinking creatively and courageously, and forging new paths to meet this need. Across the world, people are turning to their pets for comfort, and with the ASPCA Relief & Recovery Initiative, we are committed to helping animals return that love and comfort back to their families by working to ensure their health and safety as we weather this crisis together.”

BVA issues new emergency guidance

The BVA has issued an extensive “traffic light” guidance document for veterinary practices assessing emergency and urgent care during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also offers advice on contact with clients and the correct protocol to keep all veterinary staff safe during this pandemic. 

You can read the guidance using this link here:

800,000 masks donated by pharma company

Pharmacy company Merck & Co. has donated 800,000 protective masks to New York City Emergency Management and New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, 500,000 and 300,000 respectively. 

Merck’s CEO, Kenneth C. Frazier said: “We extend our deepest appreciation to the many health-care providers and volunteers… around the world who are doing so much to help affected patients and communities, and to our own employees who are focused on delivering our critically important medicines and vaccines to the patients who need them. COVID-19 is a generational challenge to the global community. We are enormously grateful for the front-line health-care personnel who are helping the thousands of patients now affected by COVID-19.”

Parvo warning for Rockhampton as deadly outbreak hits

Vets in Australia are calling for citizens in Rockhampton to vaccinate their dogs against parvovirus because of a spike in cases leaving 13 dog fatalities. Torenbeek Veterinary Clinic in Rockhampton has seen 16 cases in the past three weeks. Paws for A Purpose, a pet charity in Australia is offering heavily discounted parvo vaccinations at Alma Street Veterinary Hospital and Torenbeek Veterinary Clinic.

Dr Mark Kelman, founder of Pets for A Purpose said: “It is so important we do whatever we can to protect our dogs. The standard cost for these vaccinations is around $100, but now people who need a little extra assistance can get these for as little as $15.”

Call made to former OVs

Former vets who were members of the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) are being asked to volunteer to help maintain the food chain during the COVID-19 outbreak. An email was sent out to these OV’s stating:

“Any veterinary surgeons who have worked as red or white meat OVs within the past five years, and who have let their designation status lapse, are being urged to contact the relevant agency for food standards in their UK country, as their skills are needed now to support efforts to keep the food chain running during the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s important that we work together to help keep the abattoirs open at this critical time.”

Thousands of specimens show no evidence of COVID-19 in pets

IDEXX Laboratories has announced that there is no evidence that companion animals have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. This announcement comes with backing from multiple animal and human health-care groups that have found no positive results of the virus in the thousands of canine and feline specimens they have evaluated. IDEXX has stated that the virus is primarily transmitted person-to-person and supports the recommendation against testing pets for COVID-19.

RCVS Council temporarily permits vets to remotely prescribe veterinary medicines

The Royal College of Veterinary Science (RCVS) has agreed to temporarily permit the remote prescription of veterinary medicines to reduce to risk of the spread of COVID-19. Normally, RCVS states that an animal would need a physical assessment before being prescribed medicine.

Dr Niall Connell, RCVS President, stated: “In these unprecedented times we recognise that undertaking a physical examination of an animal may no longer be safe for people or practicable under the restrictions on movement and contact that the UK Government has recommended and is likely to enforce. Vets and vet nurses will always have animal health and welfare as their key professional priority, but they must now prioritise their personal safety and that of their practice teams and clients, and do as much as they can to ensure the protection of public health. Personal and public safety overrides animal welfare.”

Keeping calm and carrying on: Wellbeing tips during the COVID-19 pandemic

Certified leadership and wellness coach Kristina Guldbrand has teamed up with DVM360 to produce a video detailing how veterinary staff can remain calm while continuing to offer patient care.

Watch the video here:

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