Low SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence and No Active Infections among Dogs and Cats in Animal Shelters with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Human Cases among Employees

Biology (Basel). 2021 Sep 11;10(9):898. doi: 10.3390/biology10090898.


Human-to-animal and animal-to-animal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been documented; however, investigations into SARS-CoV-2 transmission in congregate animal settings are lacking. We investigated four animal shelters in the United States that had identified animals with exposure to shelter employees with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Of the 96 cats and dogs with specimens collected, only one dog had detectable SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies; no animal specimens had detectable viral RNA. These data indicate a low probability of human-to-animal transmission events in cats and dogs in shelter settings with early implementation of infection prevention interventions.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; animal shelter; coronavirus; human-to-animal; zoonosis.