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The risks pets face during the Coronavirus outbreak

There is a sense of paranoia around the world as the outbreak of Coronavirus continues to spread. But the true victims of the virus are cats and dogs in China.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 13/03/2020, 20:00

We have sadly heard of pets being killed by their owners as false information has been shared about animals carrying the disease. Thankfully, these cases remain rare.

Quarantines and travel bans are causing abandonments

However, as certain parts of the country have been on lockdown for weeks, some owners have been forced to stay in quarantine or have been prevented from travelling back to their cities. This has left hundreds of pets without owners to care for them.

Many good Samaritans have stepped in, breaking into abandoned apartments and feeding their neighbours’ pets until they can return. While animal shelters are doing the best they can, they are currently overrun with residents, and are in desperate need of volunteers to help them.

Pet saviours to the rescue

A group known as the ‘Furry Angels Haven’ regularly rescues strays or abandoned pets and cares for them until they can find forever homes (often overseas in countries such as Canada, the US, or the U.K.).

In a recent interview with Time, a volunteer from the group (who preferred to remain anonymous), said that due to the Coronavirus outbreak, she was currently looking after 35 dogs and 28 cats in her apartment.

It is obviously a huge financial cost, but without her, the animals would stand no chance. Officials kill any strays just in case they may be carrying the disease (even though we know animals are not vectors and cannot transmit the disease to humans). Her biggest fear, however, is that officials find her apartment, as the law prohibits apartment-dwellers to own more than one pet at a time. In addition, she fears catching the virus. Not for her own sake, but for the animals’. If she was contaminated, all of them would be killed.

We are crossing our fingers that these amazing volunteers can continue their work, and we thank them for their devotion to our four-legged friends.

Want to know how to protect your pets from illness? Check out our top 10 preventative healthcare tips!