The city’s animal shelters are trying to reduce public access in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Officials with Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control said Saturday that pet licenses would not be sold at the shelters for the time being, and directed the public to renew pet licenses by mail or online. A 30-day grace period for late license submittal will be provided.

Additionally, those who wish to surrender their pets are being asked to delay surrendering them at this time.

“We encourage those who have lost or found pets to download the SHADOW app — which can also be accessed on our website — and if possible to foster those pets temporarily,” the department said.

“Additionally, those who wish to surrender stray, healthy cats are asked to release them where they were trapped and bring them in after the public health recommendation for social distancing is removed.”

Animal Control officers will continue to respond to urgent public safety and animal welfare calls, but other, less urgent calls will be deferred until further notice.

Meanwhile, the department’s veterinary specialists said Saturday that there is no current evidence people can get COVID-19 from their family pet, but recommended that pet owners exercise caution until more is known.

“Dogs and cats have their own Coronavirus that is NOT the same virus as COVID-19,” senior veterinarian Fumie Yamamoto said.

“If you are sick with COVID-19, it is recommended to limit close contact with pets until more information is known about the virus,” she said. “You should always wash your hands after handling animals as a general rule.”

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