DBL Coronavirus Updates

We are committed as ever to our DBL community, and with growing concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we want you to know that the health and safety of you and our team is our top priority.

As we monitor this evolving situation, we will share updates on some of the ways we are supporting our DBL community.

What We’re Doing

We’re Sheltering in Place
Like many other places around the world, we’ve recently been informed that the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon is mandated to shelter-in-place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This means that the majority of our employees are working remote while sheltering at home, with just a few allowed on-site to provide premium care for our dogs. We thank our foster families who have opened their hearts and homes to care for some of the more needy pups, as well as to our puppy raisers who are caring for our puppies in training.

Staying Informed
We care about everyone’s safety – including our dogs – and we are continuing to closely monitor the situation with guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and Assistance Dogs International (ADI).

There is still no evidence that companion animals can spread COVID-19, and further, it does not appear that companion animals become ill from this virus. Please continue to read and bookmark the FAQ’s posted on the AVMA website that will help you understand the impact to your Assistance Dog as it is updated regularly with the most current information.

Staying Healthy
Please continue to follow CDC’s advice for protecting yourself and others: Wash your hands frequently with soap and/or alcohol-based sanitizers; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; cover your mouth or nose when you sneeze or cough; and maintain a distance of 6 feet or more between yourself and others when you do need to go out. And if you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing yourself, seek medical attention.

We Care
We care about you, your families, and our life-changing dogs, and ask for your patience in responding to your emails, calls and letters while we’re sheltering in place. Please feel free to contact us:

Please know that Dogs for Better Lives remains fiscally strong and committed as ever to our mission, our dogs, and to all who care and support us. There is nothing more powerful and resilient than you – our wonderful DBL community – and we want to thank you for showing your love for our mission and being a part of DBL.

Stay well,
Bryan Williams, CEO


Q: If you and I both play with and hug our dogs, and our dogs play together, and one of us has the virus, can the other dog act as a vector to carry the virus to a new household?

A: In our current understanding of the disease, it appears very unlikely that dogs playing in a dog park could vector the disease between people. However, given the growing pandemic and the responsibility we all have to be extremely cautious during this time, I would recommend that dog owners follow the same social isolation recommendations for their pets as have been made for people - keep people (and their pets) 6 feet apart.  

– Dr. Jennifer Babineaux, DVM 

Q: When will the public be allowed back on the DBL campus for tours, meetings, and pet adoptions?

A: Currently DBL’s campus in Central Point (OR) is closed, as the entire state is under “Stay-Home Order” from Oregon Governor Kate Brown. We anticipate until at least April 6th, this order will be enforced. DBL leadership continues to monitor this situation daily and encourages you to check back periodically to our website for news updates. You can also visit our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn) feeds for breaking news. 

Q: If all staff are being asked to stay at home, who is taking care of the dogs?

A: Currently we have a limited number of staff on campus, caring for our dogs in training. Most of our Career Change Dogs (non-graduating) have been placed in temporary foster homes for the time being. 

Q: How can we (public) help during this concerning and unprecedented period?

A: While we appreciate your concern and desire to help us, we ask that you please think about yourself first, ensuring that you are taken care of. DBL is in good shape and we will persevere. Thanks to our staff and local volunteers, we have all essential services covered at this time. If you wish to help in other ways, obviously we are always appreciative of donations. 

Q: In addition to your website, where else can I go to learn about DBL's response to COVID-19 and any impact it may be having on your dogs and staff?

A:  In addition to our website, please follow us on social media where we provide more frequent and daily updates, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Q: If most of the staff is working remote, what is the best way to reach them?

A:  All remote staff have their office phones set to forwarding and should be accessible by cellphone from DBL’s core hours of 9:00 am (12:00 pm, EST) to 3:00 pm (6:00 pm, EST), Mon – Fri. If unable to reach them by phone, please try email. In most cases, that’s firstname @ dogsforbetterlives.org.

Q: How can I keep working on my Assistance Dog's professional behavior during this time social distancing?

A: You can practice with your Assistance Dog by reenacting training scenarios at home as much as possible- such as treating a sit down dinner at home like you are at a restaurant.