Veterinary Public Health

Pet Health Calendar
Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 288-7060
Fax (213) 481-2375
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Los Angeles County SARS-CoV-2 Testing for Animals


raccoons eating from a pet food bowl outsideimage of a doctor writing notesvarious domestic animals


**As of March 30, 2023 - Free SARS-CoV-2 testing of pets and other animals is on hold.**



Veterinary Public Health has received funding from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in animals in Los Angeles County.  SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.  This project will help us to learn more about COVID-19 from a One Health perspective, meaning that we can learn more about the significance of COVID-19 in human, animal, and environmental relationships.


Some of the funds will support local testing of animals for SARS-CoV-2.  We will partner with and offer free testing to various animal care facilities and agencies throughout LA County.  Our goal is to test many different species of animals including wildlife (deer, bats, raccoons), pets (dogs, cats, hamsters, pocket pets), marine mammals (seals), and more. 


For questions or to contact us about testing an animal for SARS-CoV-2:

  • Email us at or

  • Call us at 213-288-7060 (ask to speak to the veterinarian-on-call) - Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm


                              free testing of pets for SARS-CoV-2 Printable PDF pdf icon1


For veterinarians and animal care facilities: 

  • If you are interested in testing animals for SARS-CoV-2 through this grant, please contact us to request test kits

  • To report a SARS-CoV-2 positive or suspect animal, complete this reporting form and submit to


*For pet owners:

  • To find out if your pet can be tested for SARS-CoV-2 through this grant, please contact us.  If your pet is ill, please consult with your veterinarian.

  • Your pet may be eligible for free testing if the following apply:

    • Your pet was exposed to a person with COVID-19 within the past 7 days (for example your pet lives in a household where a person had symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 7 days).

    • Your pet has symptoms of COVID-19 and was exposed to a person with COVID-19 within the past 7 days (for example, you had symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 7 days and your pet becomes sick).

      • Symptoms of COVID-19 in animals may include:

        • Fever

        • Coughing

        • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

        • Lethargy (unusual lack of energy or sluggishness)

        • Sneezing

        • Runny nose

        • Eye discharge

        • Vomiting

        • Diarrhea

        • Loss of appetite

        • Some animals with COVID-19 are asymptomatic (have no symptoms)

  • For your pet to be tested through our program, the following criteria must be met:

    • The first symptoms in your household should have appeared within the prior seven days

    • A household member must be present at the time of testing and be able to physically collect the sample (throat swab) from the exposed pet.

      • Our staff will provide you the test kit but are not able to swab the pet or handle/hold your pet for you

    • The following reporting forms must be completed and returned to with subject line 'SARS-CoV2 Home Test'

  • If your pet qualifies for testing:

    • Our staff will contact you to set up an appointment and will come to your home to provide a sampling kit for a household member to collect the sample from the pet(s).  The sample will then be given back to the VPH personnel who will take it to the lab for testing.

    • We will be requesting more detailed exposure information on your pet

    • Veterinary Public Health will provide you the testing results within 10 business days via email or phone

  • Veterinary Public Health does not offer treatment or veterinary care for pets


Diagnostic Testing Results Summary for SARS-CoV-2 in Animals in Los Angeles County

  Number Tested*
Species SARS-CoV-2 Negative SARS-CoV-2 Positive**
Cat 20  1
Chinchilla 0
Dog 28  2
Ferret 1 0
Guinea Pig 65 0
Hamster 38 0
Rabbit 78 0
Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pig 1 0
Bat 151 0
Coyote 32 0
Mule Deer 4 0
Opossum 17 0
Raccoon 37 0
Squirrel 48 0
Skunk 7 0
Rat 2 0
Marine Mammals    
Sea Lion 64 1
Seal 12 0
Southern Sea Otter 1 0
Zoo Animals    
Gorilla 1 0
Siamang 1 0
TOTAL 612 4
*Last updated 3/21/2023

**All samples tested at LAC Public Health Laboratories.  1 dog and 1 sea lion sample were not confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL).

For more information on COVID-19 and animals, please visit here

Infographics that can be shared on social media:

did you know that pets can be sick with SARS-CoV-2 was your pet exposed to COVID?


Related resources

SARS-CoV-2 Reporting Form pdf icon1

Animal Health Advisory: SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance and Testing Grant - Veterinarian Survey to Assess Knowledge and Barriers to SARS-CoV-2 Testing pdf icon1 6.13.2022

Animal Health Update: SARS-CoV-2 in Animals Grant: Testing Progress and Survey Results pdf icon1 10.24.2022

          Infographic to Share: Did You Know - Pets - SARS-CoV-2

          Infographic to Share: Was Your Pet Exposed to COVID? 


Last updated: March 30, 2023

Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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