Coronavirus: What you need to know to keep your pets safe.

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You and your pet do not need to worry. At this time, there is no conclusive evidence that pets are susceptible to COVID-19 or able to transfer the virus to people. This is the best news! There is no known risk that we can get or give the COVID-19 virus to our beloved animals.

The simplest way to ensure this is to wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. 

Remember to include pets in your disaster plan. Think about who might be able to help care for your pets if you’re unable. The SF SPCA’s Sido Program helps plan for your pets’ futures and can give you peace of mind during this time.

As always, we are here for you and your pets.  We remain open to the public for veterinary care and emergencies, with a heightened commitment to cleaning public areas. Our Adoptions Center is closed until the shelter-in-place order has been lifted, but our team is creating new ways for us to connect homeless animals with forever families.

Please see our up-to-date FAQ below, which details our currently available services. 

For updated information, we recommend visiting the CDC website and World Organisation for Animal Health.


This FAQ was last updated at 12:10 PM on Wednesday, March 18th, 2020. 

As COVID-19 becomes more of a reality for all of us, please know that we are still your trusted and longtime partner, and we are doing everything in our power to be here if your pet needs medical care during this crisis. 

Be assured that we have protocols in place to address the variety of health and safety issues at hand. While we have always ensured the highest levels of cleanliness and sanitation, we have updated our guidelines in direct response to the emergence of COVID-19 as per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

We are here:

  • Pacific Heights and Mission hospitals remain open for sick, urgent, and emergency care. We are currently deferring all wellness and non-urgent cases until after April 7th. If you are sick and your animal needs medical care, please do not come directly to our hospital. Instead, call us at 415-554-3030 and we will make arrangements to provide care.
  • To offer assistance to you, our doctors will be available for telemedicine appointments to help with non-urgent conditions, general questions and as well as medication refills. To schedule a telemedicine appointment, call us at 415-554-3030.
  • Should you need a prescription filled our team will be available and your doctor can refill your meds through our online pharmacy. Please call 415-554-3030 to speak with a specialist.
  • For insulin and critical eye care medications, please call in ahead so we can have it ready for you.
  • The SF SPCA has an online store that is an excellent resource for any pet supplies and supports our work.
  • As we approach the end of the shelter in place directive, we will contact you with options for accessing wellness and non-urgent (but important!) care. 
  • Our Adoptions Center will be closed through April 8th. The shelter team is placing animals in foster homes so they receive love, attention and exercise during the shelter in place directive.


We recommend all staff and volunteers adhere to CDC personal hygiene protocols.  We have also increased the frequency and level of cleaning at both our Mission and Pacific Heights campuses. We are adhering to the Governor’s, SF mayor’s and SF department of Health and Emergency Services guidance including suspending large gatherings. We have temporarily suspended volunteer visits with our Animal Assisted Therapy program, cancelled mobile vaccine clinics.  

Our teams are well attuned to biosecurity measures to keep animals disease free in our shelter/adoptions and hospital.  In addition to our normal high standards of cleanliness and biosecurity for our animals we’ve instituted routine sanitation of public spaces and shared workstations. 

We are continuing to monitor local and federal health agencies for guidance to ensure our actions align with their recommendations.

Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal organization agree there is no evidence at this point that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people. Source: AVMA

The virus interacts with animals the same way it does with surfaces. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or animal that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, but this is not thought to be the way the virus spreads. Source: CDC

It’s important to have plans for your pets regardless of the type of emergency. You should stock up on food, medications, and flea/tick prevention for your pet; ensure your pet is updated on their vaccines and antiparasitics/dewormers; and check that their microchip information in accurate.

It is best if your pet can remain in its home or with a friend or family member. If that isn’t possible you may need to board your pet.  We advise that you call and make sure your animal has the vaccinations/preventives required for a stay.

Your animal may be treated at our hospitals. Please notify us in advance of your appointment so we can follow certain protocol upon your pet’s arrival.

You can still walk your dog.  We recommend you follow CDC guidelines on maintaining social distancing and washing your hands thoroughly after handling pets.

Check with your dog walker or trainer regarding their protocols.  In most cases the answer is yes—and keep social distances.  This is also a good time to work in small classes or individual sessions to hone your pup’s skills.

Please contact your veterinarian to request necessary medicine which may be able to be ordered through our online pharmacy.

In addition to our normal high standards of cleanliness, we have increased our frequency and level of sanitizing our campus and have hand sanitizers and public restrooms so clients can sanitize their hands.

We can certainly reschedule for a later date or cancel if you prefer. During this time, we are waiving appointment cancellation fees.

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