Sanitation, PPE, and Surgical Supply Alternatives for Animal Shelters

shelter staff in PPE holding a welcome signSince the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public health community has called on everyone to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and to donate it when possible. Many types of PPE and sanitation supplies are backordered indefinitely and may still be hard to acquire even once shelters, HQHVSN clinics, and veterinary hospitals resume “normal” operations.

Fortunately, people who work in animal care are already experienced innovators and improvisors. The challenge is to discover innovative solutions to these shortages using products that are readily available without compromising the health of humans or animals. We have looked for ideas that are evidence-based, as well as evidence that questions standard practices. Some of these innovations are cutting edge, while others are so old that they are new again.

We have divided ideas into the three main categories in which we have seen or expect to see shortages: Solutions for sanitation and disinfection; personal protective equipment for animal handling; and surgical supplies.