Veterinarians Help Human Hospitals Fight Pandemic, COVID-19 Test Available for Pets, The Paycheck Protection Program Ran Out of Money, & Animal Shelters are Emptying

by Edwin Plotts
Pawlicy Advisor
Vet Blog
VetReview: Veterinarians Help Human Hospitals Fight Pandemic, And Other Updates
Happy, empty animal shelter in Florida

Your highlights from the last week in veterinary news 🤓

  • Veterinarians Donate Time, Equipment in COVID-19 Fight
  • COVID-19 Test Now Available for Pets
  • The Paycheck Protection Program Ran Out of Money but Could Get Funding Soon
  • Animal Shelters are Emptying Due to Pet Adoption Spike


Veterinarians Donate Time, Equipment in COVID-19 Fight

NY Mayor De Blasio (Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio. Source: The Guardian)

Veterinarians are contributing to the fight against COVID-19 in more ways than one.

Animal hospitals and veterinary practices across the country are donating ventilators to human hospitals to keep critical patients breathing.

“We are not only in the process of responding, but also significantly planning for what is to come,” said Dr. Beth Davidow, who is president-elect of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and helped organize a database of available ventilators from veterinary clinics. “As you read the news of people dying because there’s not a ventilator available, it makes you want to help as much as you can.”

Meanwhile, health officials in the UK, New York, Vermont, and other locations are reaching out to veterinarians to provide hands-on services in intensive care units and even mortuaries.

In one example, the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust — a branch of the UK’s National Health Service in southwest England — is seeking veterinarians and veterinary technicians to be trained as “‘respiratory assistants’ who would act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of intensive care medical personnel,” according to VIN.

COVID-19 Test Now Available for Pets

PPE with a cat, working from home (Source: AVMA)

Pet parents around the world grew nervous when it was revealed that their companion animals could test positive for the new coronavirus.

Health authorities indicated there is no evidence that animals can spread the virus to people, and the number of animals testing positive remains very low.

However, to make animal testing more streamlined, Idexx Laboratories has announced that it has made its SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test available to veterinarians.

According to dvm360, “the test will be available to veterinarians in North America. It will become available throughout much of the rest of the world in the coming weeks, enabled by Idexx Reference Laboratories, which includes more than 80 laboratories worldwide.”

Veterinary Business

The Paycheck Protection Program Ran Out of Money but Could Get Funding Soon

Broken Piggy Bank

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of a recent stimulus bill that enabled small businesses to take out a low-interest loan and pay their employees, ran out of funds last week.

However, the American Animal Hospital Association (AHAA) reports that the program will likely be funded soon: “The program isn’t shuttered just because it ran out of money.”

Veterinary practices can apply through the Small Business Association (SBA) website.

Animal Welfare

Animal Shelters are Emptying Due to Pet Adoption Spike

Happy, empty animal shelter in Florida (Staff members celebrate at a shelter in Florida. Source: CNN)

Amid a rapid increase in pet adoption and fostering across the country, some animal shelters have completely emptied, including one Florida animal shelter that celebrated being empty for the first time in its history. As so many people are working from home during the pandemic, shelters saw an opportunity to encourage adoptions, and the country responded.

Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA, said their organization alone has experienced a 70% increase in animals entering foster care in New York City and Los Angeles, according to NBC News.

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We scanned a wide range of top veterinary and local news sources, so you don't have to: 1. Veterinarians Donate Life-Support Ventilators in Coronavirus Response | Today's Veterinary Practice 2. New York veterinarians give ventilators to 'war effort' against coronavirus | The Guardian 3. Veterinarians ready to aid human medicine in pandemic | VIN News 4. Letter: NYS call for mortuary help undervalues veterinarians | VIN News 5. Vermont, desperate for COVID medical help, is tapping veterinarians | Boston 6. Two cats have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but experts still don't think pets infect humans | INSIDER 7. Human-to-animal COVID-19 spread not common | JAVMA News 8. IDEXX Makes Pet Test for COVID-19 Virus Available to Veterinarians | PR Newswire 9. COVID-19 test for pets now available to veterinarians | dvm360 10. The PPP is out of money. Now what? | AAHA 11. Florida animal shelter celebrates emptying a kennel for the first time ever | CNN 12. 'The call has been answered': Animal shelters across the U.S. are emptying amid coronavirus pandemic | NBC News

Edwin Plotts, Director of Marketing at Pawlicy Advisor

About the author

Edwin Plotts

Foster/Rescue Parent & Director of Growth - Pawlicy Advisor

Edwin Plotts rescues and rehomes cats in Brooklyn, NY - while leading Pawlicy Advisor's brand growth. He's a pet parent of two rescued sibling cats: Greyson and Babs. He's also an avid volunteer with Flatbush Cats and The Toby Project.

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