Companion Animal Welfare during COVID-19

20th March 2020


We have today written to The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, asking that he allow Petpals and other professional pet care companies, to continue to visit pets for their health and well-being, during any potential lockdown period. Our letter is below.


Date: Friday 20 March 2020

To:  Boris Johnson, Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister

Today you announced your list of ‘Key Workers.’  Whilst it may not be your first thought, please consider that many, if not most of these people own dogs, who need to be walked every day while they are at work.

Across our 50+ Petpals businesses, we already walk dogs for hundreds of teachers, nurses, doctors. Service personnel, prison officers etc – if we are at any stage unable to walk their dogs (i.e. in a lockdown situation) how will they, in turn, be able to work?

Similarly, if elderly people who own ‘companion pets’ such as cats and dogs are hospitalised, who will look after them? Pet care professionals are trained and equipped to offer these services. All our staff are DBS checked, insured, wear uniforms, drive liveried vehicles and are trained to meet all the requirements of the animal welfare act.

We may not be the first profession on anyone’s ‘emergency services’ list but, without our continued support, many of these people, doing the most vital jobs in our country, will be left in an incredibly difficult position.

As experienced pet care professionals we already work to stringent hygiene standards, ensuring minimum risk to us and our clients. We take advice from professional bodies such as the British Veterinary Association and the Pet Industry Federation. We are confident we are working to the most exacting of standards and providing a crucial service during these uncertain times.

We urge you now, to ensure pet care professionals like Petpals, can carry on walking dogs and caring for pets daily. Such a move will not only be supporting key workers but also helping to keep small businesses afloat and ultimately ensuring the health and well-being of thousands of pets.

We welcome your urgent response.

Kevin Thackrah


Petpals (UK) Ltd