PIJAC: pet shops are “essential” during the crisis

Don’t forget the needs of companion animals during the coronavirus pandemic, industry leaders remind state and local governments.

The Joint Pet Industry Advisory Council and pet store owners released an open letter on March 13 calling pet stores “essential retailers” who should be exempt from the mandatory closure if such a move is considered to help to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The 45 signatories of the letter welcomed “the rapid actions” already taken by heads of government to protect people.

“As you take defensive measures by ordering event cancellations and facility closures to create social distancing that will help control the spread of disease, we urge you to consider animal welfare as well. pets and other animals loved by citizens in your communities,” they wrote.

The letter pointed out that some pet stores offer not only food and supplies, but also veterinary and boarding services. Many PetSmart and Petco stores, for example, house veterinary hospitals.

“Forcing these stores to close in many cases will also prevent access to veterinary care and a reliable facility to temporarily house pets in this community,” he said.

Supermarkets, an essential retailer for people, are falling far short of meeting the needs of pets, the letter notes.

“Grocery stores that may be allowed to stay open typically only carry basic pet food options, and they lack the specialty foods, supplements and even medications needed to maintain the health of millions. of nationally beloved pets and animals,” he explained.

Among the signatories were:

  • Mike Bober, President and CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.
  • Dana Brooks, president and CEO of the Pet Food Institute.
  • Steve King, CEO of the American Pet Products Association.
  • Vic Mason, president of the World Pet Association.
  • Celeste Powers, president of the Pet Industry Distributors Association.
  • Ron Coughlin, CEO of Petco.
  • K. Symancyk, President and CEO of PetSmart.

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