Governor Thomas Wolf
Office of the Governor
508 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120


March 13, 2020
Re:  COVID-19 and Pets


Dear Governor Wolf:


I am writing today in my capacity as the President of the Federated Humane Societies of Pennsylvania to request essential services to include services for pets in our state as well as people.  As you know, millions of Pennsylvanians are pet owners and without a plan to access food and medical care for their pet’s chaos will ensue.


The current guidance leaves the treatment of pet care providers uncertain.  Specifically the treatment of pet stores that carry pet food and all veterinary hospitals, not just emergency vet hospitals, is of concern.


Moreover the current guidance does not address animal shelters as essential services to enable sheltering operations to continue as such organizations determine appropriate.  Due to capacity control at the shelters, intake and adoptions should still be open to the public.  Without the availability of adopters, shelters will quickly become overcrowded and may be forced to euthanize animals for space, as is now happening in the southern states.


Moreover, municipal workers, animal control officers, humane law enforcement and police officers will have nowhere to go with stray animals.  Their work must be considered essential as well to ensure stray animals and abused animals still have a place to go.


I am hopeful you will understand the need for action with respect to this matter and I thank you for all you are doing to keep Pennsylvania safe during this crisis.



Amy B. Kaunas
Board President
Federated Humane Societies of Pennsylvania