Photo by Martin Hernandez

Hi I’m Pepe. I’m a 1-year old gray tabby who is the epitome of extroversion! I prefer interactions with people and find toys to be mundane. I love being picked up and can’t get enough petting. But nothing gives me more pleasure than to spread the love with my expressive purrs, head butting, and constant ankle rubbing. Some say I’m like a dog because with my tail in the air, I am deter-mined to always follow people around, and I can’t help but inhale a tasty meal. I say I’m versatile, and people can’t help but line up to be my friend. Pepe, ID#A0660339, is available for adoption at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter located at 1640 9th Street, Santa Monica CA, 90404. The shelter is closed to the public and adoptions are by appointment only by calling the shelter at 310.458.8595.

PET TIP OF THE WEEK: PETS AND COVID-19

According to the Center for Disease Control, little is known regarding the spread of COVID-19 be-tween people and pets. But there are important ways to promote safety for you and your pets from the virus.

People cannot get COVID-19 from petting dogs and cats. Certain bacteria and fungi can travel in the air and on pet’s skin, fur, or hair, but there is no evidence to suggest that this includes viruses or COVID-19.

There have been a few cases worldwide where animals contracted the virus from a person that was infected by COVID-19. The risk of spreading the virus to animals is still considered low. But, be aware of signs of illness in your pet such as breathing, difficulty, coughing, lethargy, diarrhea, vomit-ing, nasal or ocular discharge. If you have any concerns about your pet’s health, contact your veter-inarian.

If you are sick, limit the amount of physical interactions you have with your pet such as kissing, pet-ting, snuggling, and sharing a bed. Wash their equipment and bedding frequently. Wash your hands before and after you handle your pets and wear a mask.

You can walk your dog, go to the dog park, day care, boarding, and the groomers. Always practice social distancing, and do not allow other people to touch your pets. Avoid touching items at the dog park. Clean and disinfect your dog’s equipment and toys with pet safe products after each use. If you must go to the groomers, day care, or boarding facilities, make sure the establishments are adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols. If you or your dog are sick, or have been exposed to the vi-rus, stay home, and limit your walks to areas with less people.

While COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person, it is important to promote your pet’s safety by continuing to practice the same safety protocols that you practice for yourself. For more information on COVID-19 and pets, visit the CDC’s website www.cdc.gov.

Pet of the Week is provided by Carmen Molinari, a long-time volunteer at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter and founder and CEO of Love At First Sit, a pet care and dog training company in Santa Monica. Learn about her, pet tips, and Love At First Sit services at loveatfirstsit.net