COVID-19 Response: Help and Resources


Berkeley Humane has reopened its Adoption Center and follows the current City of Berkeley, County of Alameda, and CDC guidelines for safety. Please see our current adoption process and available animals here.


Please visit our Resource Center for additional information on programs that support our community and help keep pets and their families together.

  1. Our Pet Food Pantry provides free dog and cat food to our community on Sunday mornings from 10am-12pm.
  2. Our Behavior Advice line is free behavior and training advice by licensed trainers and behavior experts. Please call or submit your questions through email.
  3. Watch a series of videos with pet training, behavior, and health advice during shelter in place, made by our behavior and veterinary team.
  4. Our end-of-life care is still providing compassionate support to people in the end of their pet’s life.


In-person classes have resumed with hybrid online and in-class options now available. View all Train the Bay classes.

To help families and their pets adjust to new lifestyle, we also offer one-on-one private consultations.


Our Spay the Bay program is still providing affordable spay/neuter surgeries, by appointment only. Please note, due to limited staffing, it may take several weeks to process your appointment request.

Our Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic will be at our shelter on March 26th, June 25th, September 24th and December 3rd.


Email or call 510.845.7735

Caring for your Pet during COVID

Your veterinarian is classed as an essential service, so they should be open. If you have any questions, your first call should be to them. They can give you much more specific recommendations about your companion animal’s needs.

Your veterinarian is probably canceling non-essential appointments, including:  

  • checkups,  
  • adult vaccine boosters,  
  • regular spay/neuters,  
  • elective procedures, and  
  • routine dental cleanings.

Appointments likely to be kept include:

  • emergencies,  
  • Treatment of active infections (skin, ear, urinary, respiratory, etc.),  
  • conditions affecting the animal’s quality of life that could worsen quickly,  
  • ongoing care for heart disease, addison’s disease, or diabetes,  
  • treatment for pyometras, dystocias, severe lamenesses, devere dental disease,  
  • your pet is experiencing any lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, changes in drinking or urination. 

It’s important to keep you and your veterinary team safe during an appointment. Maintain at least 6’ of distance between you and the medical/desk staff. Know that your vet tech may take your pet to the appointment and ask you to stay in the car. If you can pay by credit card over the phone, that will eliminate one more potential vector of transmission. Bring your own pen to sign documents. 

Transmission of COVID-19 primarily occurs when there is contact with an infected person’s body secretions, like saliva or mucous. Transmission via touching contaminated surfaces then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes is also possible, but seems to be less common. Smooth surfaces like countertops or doorknobs transmit the virus better than porous surfaces like paper money or pet fur. 

Because your pet’s hair is porous and also fibrous, it is very unlikely that you would contract COVID-19 by petting or playing with your pet. Though more than two dogs/cats have tested positive for COVID-19, experts agree that there is no evidence to indicate that pets spread the virus to other animals, including people. However, because animals can spread other diseases to people and people can also spread diseases to animals, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands before and after interacting with animals; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; and regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys. 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and your pet has an emergency, make sure the veterinarian knows about your symptoms. If someone healthy can bring your pet to the vet, that can be a good option. If not, your vet may do a telemedicine appointment. Or they may get your pet from your car in Personal Protective Equipment.  

If you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would, including walking, feeding, and playing. You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys). 

Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.” 

For more information, the American Veterinary Medical Association put together a handout for the humans of companion animals: View Here
Please read this joint Statement from local animal shelters

Looking for Zoom backgrounds? Download: Dogs! or Cat!

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