NACA Statement on Animal Control Functions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The National Animal Care & Control Association
is committed to setting the standard of professionalism in animal welfare and public safety through training, networking, and advocacy.

March 12, 2020

Written by NACA


NACA Statement on Animal Control Functions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

For the safety of our officers and the public they serve, NACA is advising all officers to take
extra measures to mitigate the short and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These
measures include protecting themselves properly to reduce risk of spreading the virus, as well
as working to manage and minimize the number of new animals entering our shelters.

As members of the public safety community we have an obligation to perform our sworn duties
during disasters both natural and man-made. To that end, NACA recommends the following:
High priority/emergency calls: At this time, officers should continue to respond to emergency
and high priority calls. High priority/emergency calls include law enforcement assistance,
injured or sick stray animals, cruelty and neglect complaints, bite complaints, and dangerous
and aggressive dog complaints.

Non-emergency calls and activities: Officers should suspend low priority/non-emergency
activity. This includes non-aggressive stray animal pick-up, leash law and licensing complaints,
barking and nuisance complaints, trapping and transport of community cats, and conflict
mitigation scenarios.

Shelter intake reduction: Animal control agencies should take active measures to reduce nonessential
shelter intake. Measures taken should include returning pets in the field instead
of impounding them, suspending non-emergency owner surrender intake, and encouraging
owners who are ill to keep their pets at home whenever possible.

Personal protective equipment: Animal control officers should be provided with personal
protective equipment (PPE) for cases requiring a response to a location with someone who is
sick or has been exposed to COVID-19. Officers should make every effort to not enter the home
of anyone who is known to have been exposed to the virus.

View More NACA Announcements & Resources

For ongoing information, please continue referring to all updates from the Centers for Disease


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