Covid Protocols

Rescue centres in Tier 4 can be open as key workers and volunteers can travel to them and work there; but they cannot be open to the public to visit for re-homing and they cannot be open for the public to drop off animals (unless for animal welfare reasons). They can be open for the rescue to rehome as long as it is done remotely through the animal being dropped off outside the person's house. No rehoming should occur across Tier borders and not across the England and Wales or England and Scotland border.
 
There are two important rules: you cannot meet inside and you cannot leave your home to undertake any unnecessary journeys. Picking up or dropping off an animal is an unnecessary journey unless done by the key worker i.e. by the rescue.
 
The government advice is the same for boarding, dog breeders or rescues. They can be open but only for them to drop off animals, and not for the public to enter.
 
The specific CFSG advice, signed off by Defra is:
 
Tier 4:  Adopters living in Tier 4 areas are unable to travel to collect a pet but the rescue may provide a delivery service across a Tier 4 boundary.  When it is necessary for welfare reasons for the pet to be moved to their new home the organisation may take an animal to the adopter by appointment providing the handover can be performed using the Business handover protocol (attached) set out by CFSG.  When a pet is delivered handover should take place in an outdoor space large enough for the rescue staff and adopter to maintain their social distance (2m should be adhered to where possible).  Whilst it is desirable to give an item of bedding with a pet care must be taken to ensure there is no potential for transfer of virus. A pet should not be taken to an infected or self-isolating household.  

Animals should not be moved into or out of a Tier 4 area except for welfare reasons that cannot be controlled by any other means.  When it is necessary for an animal to be moved across a Tier 4 boundary the animal should be securely caged and be put into or taken out of the vehicle by local staff.  The vehicle driver should remain in the vehicle at all times during the journey.

Re-homing organisations should accept relinquished animals from within the Tier 4 area.  Where possible the animals should be collected by appointment and handed over using the business handover protocol.

Pet Handover Protocol
As many pet businesses return to work, with the gradual easing of emergency restrictions, robust
hygiene and social distancing protocols must be adopted when receiving a pet from its owner. There
remains no evidence that pets are implicated in the transmission of coronavirus to people, but there
is some risk of the virus being carried by pets and their belongings.

The risk of human to human
transmission remains, however, and social distancing measures throughout the handover process
must be adopted to help prevent the spread of the disease.
The measures set out below should be considered by each pet business during every handover, and
be used to inform your business’s risk assessment with regard to each type of individual and
household you encounter during your work.
You should ascertain the health status of each household before agreeing to care for the pet.
When receiving a pet from the owner where the status of the household is healthy


• Agree times or book appointments with clients to ensure that you only deal with one
customer at a time
• Wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water or use hand sanitiser before
going to collect or receive the pet.
• Determine a way to receive the pet in a way which maintains a two metre distance and
if possible hand over the pet in an outside secure area. If this is not possible, and
handover occurs in the premises, face masks should be worn by both parties at the point
of transfer.
• If collecting a pet from a person’s home, ask someone from the household to open and
close the doors for you.
• Cats should be left in a secure container inside and you should transfer it to your carrier
• Use different equipment to the owner’s if possible
• Wipe the pet with a pet safe spray or wipe or wet cloth at the point of collection or drop
off. All wipes or cloths should be disposed of immediately after use.
• Limit handling of anything else, such as your phone, during any time of contact.
• Wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser once you have
returned the pet.
• If you are transporting pets, disinfect any surfaces that the pet(s) has come into contact
with in your vehicle with a pet-safe disinfectant spray and/or wipe surfaces, before
transporting other pets.
When receiving a pet from someone who is shielding or vulnerable
• If taking animals from a household that includes vulnerable or shielding people do not mix
them with other animals
• Always deal with animals from the most vulnerable household first
• Avoid any contact with occupants of the home, maintain two metres distance at all times
and if possible, avoid entering the home.
• If walking a dog for an owner keep them on a lead in public spaces to avoid other pets and
people touching them in case the virus is on their fur.
When receiving a pet from an infected or self-isolating household
• If taking animals from an infected or self-isolating household do not mix them with other
animals
• Always deal with animals from infected or self-isolating households after all other animals
• Avoid any contact with occupants of the home, maintain two metres distance at all times
and if possible, avoid entering the home.
• If walking a dog for an owner keep them on a lead in public spaces to avoid other pets and
people touching them in case the virus is on their fur.