shelter volunteers - what steps do you take to keep you pets healthy?

mothbeast

O.G.
Jan 12, 2009
9,153
60
I just went to an initial training and am interested volunteering with my local shelter to work with cats. I have my own pair of kitties at home and want to make sure that I keep them safe and healthy. I was interested in hearing what people who currently volunteer with shelters and rescue groups do in order to keep their own pets healthy. In the orientation they mentioned that they sometimes had ringworm and once had a URI outbreak. My cats are current on their vaccines (distemper and rabies I think) and I will call my vet on Monday to see what she has to say. I'd be interested in hearing about other people's experiences. Thanks
 

clevercat

catwoman
Sep 29, 2008
13,345
4,512
I get straight into the bathroom, change out of my shelter clothes and have a shower as soon as I get in. The whole lot of them, including footwear, is then thrown into the washing machine. I also spray myself head to foot in Trigene before I leave the clinic.
I am aware I am over-cautious and then some :biggrin: but at least it puts my mind at rest regarding my own cats - even though I know any risk of passing anything on is minimal to say the least.
You mentioned ringworm and we had a cat in recently with that - it was simply a matter of following our usual hygiene practise at the clinic - wear disposable gloves and an apron. We are in any case super-careful where I volunteer - there was a nasty outbreak of something last year in one of the pens and I would wear a disposable bodysuit and boots whenever I went in to clean them.
Good luck with your volunteering - I can honestly say it's one of the best things I have ever done.
 

DenimShopaholic

My happy place!!
O.G.
Aug 10, 2006
3,231
0
I agree with the two posters above. I have a pair of shoes I keep in the garage to wear when volunteering, but my cats are never near them. I also change clothes in my garage as soon as I get home, and then wash the clothes in as warm water as possible. I also wash any exposed skin thoroughly before petting my own cats.

I think if you stick to the precautions listed here, you will be just fine. Thank you for signing up to help the homeless animals in your area! I know you will find it very rewarding!
 

mothbeast

O.G.
Jan 12, 2009
9,153
60
Thanks all. I'll try to figure out a shelter only outfit and carrying extra shoes. I don't have a car or garage but I'll probably carry a shelter only bag and shoes + carry a pair of slippers to change into at the house. I'll just have to figure out getting from the front door of the apt to the bathroom without the kitties jumping all over me.

ETA I think the volunteers mainly play with cats and help with adoptions so no heavy duty cleaning.
 
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