COVID-19 and Pets: Resources and Action Items from PIJAC

Dear PIJAC Member,

Over the past week as the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly evolved, PIJAC has been on the front lines taking action to ensure the health and well-being of everyone in the responsible pet care community and the animals we care for. On Friday we coordinated an ongoing outreach effort representing over 300 (and growing) pet-related businesses and organizations to urge government officials seeking to impose social distancing measures to exempt businesses and services that provide for the food, housing and medical needs of pets from mandatory retail closures.

The timeliness of our effort was vital—On Sunday Governor Vázquez Garced of Puerto Rico’s mandatory closure of non-essential businesses designated animal food and veterinary services as essential, allowing pet stores to remain open. And yesterday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf expanded statewide mandatory retail closures and, once again, pet stores were exempted. Earlier today, six California counties in the Bay Area have exempted stores that sell pet supplies from their “shelter in place” order.

If you would like to add your signature and support to this open letter, please go to PIJAC’s new web page containing information, resources and action items related to pets and the COVID-19 crisis:

We also urge you to download and send the letter to your local and state government, regulatory and media contacts. Let us know who you’ve sent it to. If you get any media inquiries, we’re happy to help you respond or provide a national perspective.

Also on the page at, you’ll find links to the latest information on pets and COVID-19 as shared by our partners in pet care at Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other medical community experts, as well as advice on precautions to take, and how to communicate with your customers.

If you have any questions please contact us at

We are proud of the strength and dedication to animal health and well-being of the responsible pet care community as we come together during this crisis.


John Mack
2020 PIJAC Board Chair

Mike Bober
PIJAC President & CEO