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July 24, 2020

Press Release April 23, 2020


Carmen Rustenbeck, CEO

International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA)



For immediate release


Pet Care Industry & COVID-19 – Pet Care Service Providers Respond

April 23, 2020 – The International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA) believes that new guidelines could unintentionally hurt Pet Care Service providers. Recent CDC recommendations called for isolating pets from any outside contact. This has the potential of impacting services currently being provided for the pets of frontline and essential workers.

Last month, IBPSA launched a series of training programs for our membership, preparing them to work with pets under these conditions. Educational programs included; understanding the virus, proper cleaning protocols, and basic steps to keep employees and clients’ pets safe. Also included were steps to follow for care of pets that come from a home where a human has tested positive for COVID-19.

IBPSA does not agree that isolating companion animals from interactions with other animals will have any positive effect on slowing the spread of COVID-19. In fact, it is our position that such isolation may cause unintended harm for the animal’s well being.

Carmen Rustenbeck, CEO of IBPSA states, “Our industry provides needed care and complements the medical health care received by our much-loved pets. Our pets need human interaction, socialization, and mental enrichment just like humans do. IBPSA members help to provide that care in a safe and clean environment.”

Until there is accredited evidence that transfer of the virus can occur between humans and animals, IBPSA is referring all questions about transmission to The World Organization For Animal Health (OIE). On the OIE website they state, “The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. To date, there is no evidence that companion animals play a significant role in spreading the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.”


The International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA) was established to foster and support the pet care services industry. The association provides education, certifications, resources, products, information, and legislative support to help its members succeed. For more information on IBPSA, visit