WCRAS COVID-19 Operation Protocol

At WCRAS, the animals are being well taken care of during these trying times. We want you to know that community and staff safety and well-being are our priorities while the COVID-19 situation is monitored. Regional Animal Services is taking steps to help protect the health, safety and well-being of our staff, customers and community in light of COVID-19 concerns. We want to be prepared for what the animals and our community may need from us in the coming weeks. As this situation is fluid, additional measures may be added or changed.

Cleaning and hygiene protocols

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association states that there is no evidence that companion animals can be infected with or spread COVID-19. It was reported that a dog tested “weak positive” in Hong Kong recently, however it is not currently known how that dog became infected. It is important to remember that viruses can infect a species but not cause illness, nor become transmissible to others.

WCRAS continues to utilize cleaning and disinfection protocols that we already have in place for animal areas. Good personal hygiene is being strongly emphasized with staff and volunteers as well as disinfection of work areas. Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies have been provided.

  • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer) for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
  • Handwashing really works. Regular and frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before eating, after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing and after touching dirty surfaces is important. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and there is no visible dirt on your hands.
  • Practice good coughing and sneezing etiquette (using the inside bend of your elbow). If you use a tissue, use it once, throw it in the trash and then wash your hands.

Changes in WCRAS operations

Front Office – WCRAS’ lobby closed as of March 19, 2020 to the public. Limited staff are on hand to answer phone calls during following hours: Monday-Friday between 8 am - 5 pm and on Saturday from 9 am- 3 pm. Animal redemptions will be processed by contacting us at 775-353-8901. You can also click here for more information. We ask that all non-essential WCRAS business be handled on our website or over the phone or by emailing us at pets@washoecounty.us during this time.   Many services can be handled on our website such as:

  • Dog licensing (available online and by phone)
  • Lost pet report
  • Found pet report
  • Searching for your lost pet
  • Record requests

Field Services are still available 7 days per week, from 8 am to 10 pm by calling us at 775-322-3647- WCRAS' field services will be responding to high priority calls for service that are not able to be handled over the phone. Non-aggressive stray- loose or contained animals, leash laws and license law complaints are not considered high priority at this time. If you have found an animal, please bring it to our office to be processed during the above mentioned hours. Staff have been provided with proper PPE to protect themselves while making necessary contact with potentially ill persons.  

Outreach Events – Outreach events have been suspended until further notice. The vaccination clinic for April 7, 2020 has been cancelled. School related presentations have been cancelled until further notice. Microchip services for walk- in, Washoe County residents will be suspended until further notice.

This is a rapidly changing situation and we appreciate your patience as we work through these precautions as a community. WCRAS will be monitoring and reviewing our protocols closely to help protect the health and safety of our staff and our community.

Stay connected with us on our website at washoeanimals.com.

Other animal shelters

Please note that Nevada Humane Society (775-856-2000) and Regional Animal Services are separate organizations that are co-located but may have separate protocols in place for service impacts.  

You can get updated information what The Nevada Humane Society is doing during the COVID-19 outbreak, please click here.

SPCA of Northern Nevada is closed to the public until March 30, 2020 (775-324-7773). You can look through their website here.