Animal shelter professionals announce formation of Missouri Coalition of Animal Care Organizations

COLUMBIA, Mo. - May 22, 2020 - PRLog -- Animal care professionals from across the state have banded together to form the Missouri Coalition of Animal Care Organizations, a groundbreaking effort to strengthen the collective impact of animal welfare organizations by building a strong collaborative network between animal care organizations, advocates, and communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for the Coalition to take action as the ever-changing landscape of shelter-in-place orders significantly impacts the daily operations of animal services.

When Missouri issued the stay-at-home order in April 2020, the role of animal services as an essential service was unclear. The Coalition took immediate action to ensure communities would continue to have access to animal support and sheltering services. The coalition coordinated an effort with six of the largest animal shelters in Missouri to request animal shelter staff, animal control officers, and pet food supply stores be classified as essential and remain operational. The Coalition also provided the Governor's office with extensive resources for animal owners and animal services to assist in COVID-19 response planning. The effort was successful as animal services were permitted to continue functioning in the state.

"Due to the pandemic, it quickly became apparent how critical it was for communication and collaboration among leading animal welfare organizations in the state. The collaboration of animal welfare organizations plays a vital role in advocating for animal services and highlighting the need for collective representation of animal shelters, rescues, and services in the state," said Abbie Knudsen, who is serving as the President of the Board of Directors.

As the landscape of COVID-19 has continued to evolve, the Coalition has taken additional action to support the welfare of companion animals by requesting that the State of Missouri expand public access to veterinary services through telemedicine. Veterinary telemedicine protects veterinary health professionals and ensures families can still receive medical attention for their pets. The Coalition partnered with eight other national animal welfare and veterinary medicine organizations on the request.

Looking to the future, Missouri Coalition of Animal Care Organizations will continue its work to support animal shelters by hosting the second annual Midwest Animal Sheltering Conference October 9-11, 2020 in Columbia, MO.

"Midwest Animal Sheltering Conference is a key effort of the Coalition to ensure that every animal care organization in the region has access to progressive and up-to-date strategies to best serve the families and animals in their communities," said Knudsen.


The mission of Missouri Coalition of Animal Care Organizations is to transform the collective impact of animal welfare organizations through a collaborative network that supports Missouri's companion animals and their communities. To learn more visit

Abbie Knudsen
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