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NYC Emergency Management Launches Coronavirus Pet Hotline

Patch logo Patch 4/28/2020 Charles Woodman
a close up of a cat: Pet owners who need any kind of support or advice during the coronavirus outbreak can call the line from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. © D’Ann Lawrence White/Patch Pet owners who need any kind of support or advice during the coronavirus outbreak can call the line from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

NEW YORK CITY — The New York City Emergency Management Department has launched a new support hotline to find help for pets whose owners have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline provides a variety of services, connecting pet owners to any support they may need, answering questions and offering referrals. The hotline can help pet owners receive relief resources like subsidized emergency veterinary care or pet food. In severe cases, they can also help temporarily board pets whose owners are sick from the virus or can't care for them.

Emergency management says the hotline is the first of its kind in the country.

"Although critical animal care resources are now available for pet owners who need them—including pet food, urgent medical services, and emergency boarding—knowing how and where to access these services during a crisis can be challenging. The NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline will significantly help solve that problem" said ASPCA President Matt Bershadker.

The hotline can be reached by calling 877-204-8821. Operators are on hand to help callers from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. The program is staffed and supported by New York City's Animal Planning Task Force, a collaboration between the city and several nonprofits like the Humane Society, PAWS NY and more.

"More than a hotline, it is a manifestation of New York City's heart," said Elizabeth Jensen, Northeast Regional Director for Best Friends Animal Society "New Yorkers understand that pets are family, and the NYC Covid-19 Pet Hotline will work to keep those families together."

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