Dear NEADS Puppy Raisers,
With the concerns surrounding COVID-19 (the coronavirus), NEADS wanted to reach out to provide guidance to you as raisers of NEADS Service Dogs in Training.
For this post, we have sought guidance from Dr. Christine Pelletier (DVM), the NEADS Medical Director.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), there is no evidence, at this time, that companion animals can spread COVID-19. At this time, there is also no evidence that any dog has become ill with the virus.
Here is some information and guidelines for NEADS Puppy Raisers.
Prevention: As noted in every publication about the virus, a major key to prevention is to wash your hands continually and to not touch your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands.
Guidelines for All Raisers:
- Wash your hands often
- Anyone petting the dog, with your permission, should wash their hands before and after. If using a hand sanitizer, it should have 60% alcohol content.
- Do not bathe the dog. Bathing will occur in prison or at the NEADS campus as needed.
- Avoid areas with 50 people or more. Skip any field trips that require this and make a note of it on the level sheets.
For Weekend Puppy Raisers:
- If the prison facilities put any restrictions on dogs going out on weekends, we will communicate directly with any Raisers impacted.
- If anyone at home is sick, please don’t take the dog for the weekend – contact your PPA.
- If you get sick after you have had the dog over the weekend, please contact your PPA.
- If you get sick during the weekend, call your PPA.
For Full-Time Raisers:
- If you are asked to not bring your dog into work, please contact your NEADS trainer for guidance.
- If you or anyone at home is sick, please contact your NEADS trainer.
As noted in the beginning, this is our guidance given the current information provided by the CDC, the AVMA and WOAH. We are continually monitoring developments about the virus and will provide further information as needed.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your PPA, trainer or to me.
Kate Sullivan, Volunteer Manager