Cats and Hamsters takes the safety and wellbeing of humans and pets very seriously. Cats and Hamsters has been closely monitoring the developing situation in Montreal, staying current with recommended safety practices, and has pursued training to enhance its services. This includes achieving two COVID-19-specific certificates: Pet Sitters International’s COVID-19 Certification for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers and FetchFind’s COVID-19 Reopening and Safety Guidelines Course, which is endorsed by the National Association for Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and the International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA).
Clients who decide to engage the services of Cats and Hamsters do so with full knowledge of the risks linked to in-home pet care and pet boarding, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently raging.
Kindly note that the cancellation policy remains in effect.
COVID-19 Protocols for Cats and Hamsters and its Clients:
Virtual meetings now offered via Google Meets for new client registration and for consultations. The services agreement will be available to the Client for electronic signature and then added to the Client Portal of the Time to Pet software.
Additional contactless payment options have been added, so that payment may be remitted via:
- Interac electronic transfer
- Credit Card
Keys will be returned in a way to avoid direct contact in-person (free) or via registered mail at the client’s expense (concierge fee + the cost of the postage).
Clients are encouraged to communicate via the Time to Pet software, email, WhatsApp, or text in lieu of paper notes.
Cats and Hamsters will wear a face mask while inside the Client’s home. When the Client is interfacing with Cats and Hamsters indoors, both parties will wear masks.
Physical distance of at least 2 meters between Cats and Hamsters and other parties must be observed at all times.
Cats and Hamsters will put on new gloves, wash hands, or will use hand sanitizer immediately before entering the Client’s home, immediately after entering the home, and as-needed during the visit to follow reasonable hand hygiene recommendations. The Client is responsible for providing necessary hand hygiene supplies to be used at Cats and Hamster’s discretion, which may include hand sanitizer, hand soap, running water, and paper towels.
For visits, the Client is responsible for providing necessary supplies to clean hard surfaces that C & H comes into contact with, which may include dish soap, running water, cleansing or disinfecting sprays, paper towels, and disinfecting wipes.
Cats and Hamsters will remove shoes upon entering the home. The Client will provide a designated area to place shoes. Cats and Hamsters will change socks prior to leaving each Client’s home.
Prior to agreeing to provide services, clients must notify Cats and Hamsters when any housekeepers or other parties will be present, and to schedule such services so that both parties can avoid being inside the home at the same time. It is Cats and Hamster’s policy to be the only party providing care for pets and to be the only person entering the home aside from the aforementioned housekeepers.
Clients will notify Cats and Hamsters if their pets have had recent contact with anyone who has had symptoms related to COVID-19, if the pet is exhibiting COVID-19-related symptoms, or if they have had recent access to the outdoors.
Both Cats and Hamsters and the Client will notify eachother immediately if they or if anyone they have been in contact with:
- have any symptoms related to COVID-19 or other infectious illnesses, or
- has been tested for COVID-19, or
- has exhibited the following symptoms within 14 days prior to the start of services, including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden loss of smell or taste
In the case of any of the above, the scheduled services will cease immediately. Services will not resume until the client or pet sitter has been medically cleared to do so.
Clients must provide emergency contacts for home emergency issues (such as flooding, lock malfunction) and for emergency pet care and custody. The same emergency contact can fulfill the two functions. If Cats and Hamsters is unable to continue to provide services, or is unable to extend reserved services should the Client become delayed or ill, the Client’s emergency contact will be contacted to take over care of the pets and home. If the Client has not provided an emergency contact, or if Cats and Hamsters is unable to make contact with the emergency contact or if the emergency contact is unavailable, Cats and Hamsters will use her best judgement for providing care for pets. This might include boarding at a veterinarian or facility or subcontracting with another pet sitter. The Client will be responsible for all related charges.
Pet boarding clients will no longer be able to provide their own fresh produce
Resources re: COVID-19 transmission via pets
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “There is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets. Do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products not approved for animal use.”
Government of Canada: “The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human-to-human transmission. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, there is no evidence to suggest that animals infected by humans are playing a role in the spread of this disease. This is an area that continues to be studied.“
l’Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ): “Le risque de contracter le COVID 19 dans les activités vétérinaires et soins animaliers est principalement dû aux interactions entre les propriétaires d’animaux et les travailleurs. En effet, tout indique que la COVID-19 se transmet de personne à personne à la suite d’un contact étroit. La distanciation physique et les bonnes pratiques en matière d’hygiène et de nettoyage sont primordiales….
Aucune transmission du virus SARS-CoV-2 de l’animal à l’homme n’a été décrite à ce jour. Rien n’indique que les animaux joueraient un rôle dans la propagation de la COVID-19. À l’heure actuelle, les données indiquant que des animaux peuvent être infectés par le SARS-CoV-2 sont limitées. Celles qui sont disponibles suggèrent la possibilité de rares cas de transmission de l’humain vers certains animaux. Le risque de transmission du virus par un animal infecté est actuellement considéré comme faible.Un animal exposé au virus peut être considéré comme une surface potentiellement contaminée. Bien qu’il existe un risque possible d’exposition au SARS-CoV-2 au moment du contact avec le pelage contaminé d’un animal, il n’y a qu’un risque théorique de transmission du virus à une personne de cette manière. La durée de vie du SARS-CoV-2 sur les surfaces inertes ou à l’air libre est de quelques heures à plusieurs jours selon les études. Il est peu probable qu’une quantité suffisante du virus reste assez longtemps sur les poils d’un animal pour transmettre l’infection. Les conseils d’hygiène usuels relatifs au contact avec des animaux sont toujours de mise (ex. : hygiène des mains). Ils sont détaillés à cette adresse : www.mapaq.gouv.qc.ca/zoonoses”
Translated: The risk of contracting COVID-19 in veterinary activities and animal care is mainly due to interactions between animal owners and workers. Indeed, there is evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person through close contact. Physical distancing and good hygiene and cleaning practices are paramount….
No animal-to-human transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been described to date. There is no evidence that animals play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Currently, there is limited evidence that animals can become infected with SARS-CoV-2. Those that are available suggest the possibility of rare cases of transmission from humans to certain animals. The risk of transmission of the virus from an infected animal is currently considered to be low; an animal exposed to the virus can be considered a potentially contaminated surface. Although there is a possible risk of exposure to CoV-2-SARS through contact with an animal’s contaminated coat, there is only a theoretical risk of transmission of the virus to a person in this manner. The lifespan of SARS-CoV-2 on inert surfaces or in the open air is from a few hours to several days depending on the studies. It is unlikely that enough of the virus will remain on an animal’s hair for long enough to transmit infection. Usual hygienic advice regarding contact with animals (e.g. hand hygiene) is always appropriate. They are detailed at this address: http://www.mapaq.gouv.qc.ca/zoonoses