Two of Erie’s leading Animal organizations join forces to launch new program for pet owners fighting COVID-19


As hospitalization rates continue to rise due to the Coronavirus, two of Erie’s leading Animal organizations have joined forces to launch a new program to help out those infected.

Here is more about the Pandemic Pet Program.

The ANNA Shelter and the Erie Animal Network created this program in an effort to help fellow pet owners out and to ensure that their pets are taken care of.

When the Coronavirus hits, it does not care what responsibilities you have. This leaves some people fearful about fulfilling duties as they’re hospitalized.

“We were approached by a nurse at UPMC Hamot who was concerned about a COVID patient who was on a respirator and had no one in his family to take care of his cat,” said Ruth Thompson, Founder/Director of the ANNA Shelter.

This lead the ANNA Shelter and Erie Animal Network to create what is known as “Pandemic Pets.”

“We really want people to be able to focus on their recovery when in the hospital and if they have a pet at home not feel rushed to get back that pet,” said Heather Rapp, Program Manager at Erie Animal Network.

The programs creation comes as another example of coming together as a community. This is one way that the shelter felt they could make a positive impact during the pandemic.

“We are available if anybody has these needs. If anybody knows anybody facing a circumstance like that. We don’t want anybody to feel left behind,” said Rapp.

Pandemic Pets is specifically for individuals with COVID-19. The ANNA Shelter has other programs available for individuals who need assistance caring for pets.

For contact information regarding Pandemic Pets please contact Heather Rapp at HEATHER@ERIEANIMALNETWORK.COM or call (814) 722-0552. You can also find more information on the Erie Animal Network Facebook page.

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