NYC Launches COVID-19 Pet Hotline to Provide Support for Animals During Pandemic

NYC Launches COVID-19 Pet Hotline to Provide Support for Animals During Pandemic

As a pharmacy dedicated to pets, we are proud to be considered a trusted resource within the veterinary community. Last month, as COVID-19 cases surged in the NYC metro area, Best Pet Rx became aware of a growing need among pet owners battling the virus. Who would take care of the animals left alone due to hospitalization of their family members?

Linda Gray, our Rescue Coordinator, reached out to her shelter contacts for information and learned that an Animal Planning Task Force was already underway to address the crisis. Though the hotline had not been announced to the public yet, Linda was provided guidance to share with those in need of assistance.  

In case you missed the announcement last week, the NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline is now live! Learn more about this collaborative effort below:


“The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare launched the NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline — a one-stop hub that will serve as an information, planning, referral and service coordination network for residents who need support for their pets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City officials made the announcement Tuesday. The city’s COVID-19 pet response plan is the first of its kind in the country.

Pet Hotline operators can be reached directly at 877-204-8821, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

‘Pets and service animals are a part of our family, and we want to alleviate any concern associated with having to take care of these family members during these trying times,’ NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell said in a statement.

The Pet Hotline will help mitigate people’s questions and concerns about keeping their pets during the COVID-19 crisis. It will also connect callers to pet relief resources such as subsidized emergency veterinary care and food and supply distribution services.

For residents with pets requiring a higher level of care, cases will be escalated for coordination of temporary placement or supplemental care of animals.

‘During this time of uncertainty and fear, we understand people need the comfort of their companion animals more than ever,’ Senior Community Liaison for the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare Christine Kim said in a statement. ‘In order to keep people and their animals together, we have ensured that animals are included in the safety net we have created for all New Yorkers.’

The Pet Hotline and supportive services are being provided by the City’s Animal Planning Task Force, which is coordinated by NYC Emergency Management. The Task Force is a collaboration between city agencies and nonprofits, including Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, Animal Haven, Animal Care Centers of NYC, Bideawee, American Red Cross, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, NYC VERT, New York State Animal Protection Federation, Best Friends Animal Society, and PAWS NY.”