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.

NACA is offering a free 3-month membership for those wanting to participate in
the online training.

For more information visit

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.

Working in the animal care and control field presents unique challenges because of the nature of the job to respond directly to residences where a person may be known or suspected of having COVID-19.

Dispatchers or call-takers should question callers and determine the possibility that a call may involve a person who may have signs or symptoms and risk factors association for COVID-19. By determining this information, responding officers can utilize the appropriate PPE if they must enter the residence or other building and when handling any animal that may act as a fomite of COVID-19. Officers should make every effort to not enter the home of anyone known to have been exposed or symptomatic with the virus.

Recommended PPE include:

• A N-95 or greater respirator or facemask (if a respirator is not available).

• Eye protection (i.e., goggles or disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face).

• Personal eyeglasses and contact lenses are NOT considered adequate eye protection.

• A single pair of disposable nitrile gloves. Gloves should be changed in they become torn or heavily contaminated.

• An isolation gown.

• All personnel should avoid touching their face while working.

• After completing the response and before entering their response vehicle, officers should remove and dispose of PPE and perform hand hygiene to avoid soiling the vehicle compartment.

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

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 non-essential 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 toCOVID-19.Officers should make every effort to not enter the home of anyone who is known to have been exposed to the virus.

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