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Dogs, Cats and COVID-19

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98 – July, 2020

By Caroline Coile

Misinformation breeds misfortune. That’s especially true when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which misinformation has led to both human and, indirectly, canine deaths. These deaths have occurred mostly in China because of unjustified fears that dogs can transmit COVID-19 to people.

Early in the course of the pandemic, Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) strongly advised that “mammalian pet animals including dogs and cats from households with persons confirmed as infected with COVID-19, or close contacts of COVID-19 persons, should be put under quarantine in AFCD facilities.” This sounded innocuous enough, but people read into that a warning that animals could spread the virus—especially because the virus came from another species in the first place. Hong Kong animal welfare groups pleaded with owners not to surrender, abandon or euthanize their pets, but many did so anyway. Expensive purebreds were reportedly roaming the streets, turned out by owners either from fear of infection or possibly to evade the dogs being euthanized (there were also reports stating that when a person in Wuhan China was found to have COVID-19, any pets living with them were destroyed as a precaution).

In Wuhan and several other Chinese cities, residents were ordered to evacuate without their pets, leaving them behind several days worth of food and water—not realizing they would not be allowed to return for weeks. Animal welfare groups entered residences in an attempt to save stranded pets, estimated to be in the tens of thousands.

We’ve done much better here in regard to information regarding animals and COVID, but I still see instances of misinterpretation and misinformation. So let’s address some of those questions I see most disagreement about:

Isn’t corona virus old news in dogs?

Click here to read the complete article
98 – July, 2020

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