The Fort Leonard Wood Veterinary Treatment Facility is reminding community members that there is currently little to no evidence that pets or other domestic animals can become sick with COVID-19 or spread the virus.
Accordingly, the office said, there is no reason to remove pets from homes even if COVID-19 has been identified in members of the household, unless there is risk that the pet itself is not able to be cared for appropriately.
“Continue to interact with your pets normally and practice good hygiene by washing hands before and after those interactions,” said Capt. Kelsy Abell, VTF branch chief. “We welcome any questions from the community by phone regarding their pets and COVID-19, and have personnel at the Veterinary Treatment Facility daily to do that. During this pandemic, pets and people each need the support of the other and veterinarians are there to support the good health of both.”
Abell, citing the American Veterinary Medical Association, said there is no reason to believe household pets can infect human beings.
“Infectious disease experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Office of Infectious Diseases, indicate there is no evidence to suggest pets spread COVID-19 to people,” she said.
The U.S. Army Public Health Command – Central urged pet owners not to take any measure against pets that may compromise their welfare, and asked owners not to abandon them out of fear.
“There are reports that animals are being abandoned in other areas of the country in light of the recent news,” Abell said. “We just want to make sure our community is properly informed so that pets on the installation are not neglected during this time.”
Anyone with additional questions should call the Fort Leonard Wood Veterinary Treatment Facility at 573.596.0094.