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Nation Other News 09 Apr 2020 Owners abandon high ...

Owners abandon high breed pets fearing Covid

Published Apr 9, 2020, 10:19 am IST
Updated Apr 9, 2020, 10:20 am IST
Seven cases of cocker spaniel, Doberman, Alsatian, Labrador, Pomeranian left behind at GHMC
Representational image (Twitter)
 Representational image (Twitter)

Some pet owners have been abandoning their pets fearing that Coronavirus could spread from animals to them. Call it inhuman or misinformed cruelty, several well educated and influential persons in society have been abandoning their pets fearing spread of Coronavirus.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has received seven abandoning cases in the past two days. Pet owners have abandoned imported breed of dogs including cocker spaniel, Doberman, Alsatian, Labrador and Pomeranian, among others.


The municipal authorities said that there was no need to panic about stray animals, as the corporation has been giving Corona canine vaccine for over 30 years in the city.

Several complaints have been pouring in from several sections of society that residents living in prime residential areas like Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills, Gachibowli, Kukatp-ally, Madhapur and others have been inhumanly abandoning pet animals.

Two pets in Patancheru and Kukatpally have lost their lives fighting with stray dogs in the last few days. 

Taking a serious note of the trend, GHMC officials said that abandoning pets is a criminal offence according to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). However, the GHMC, fearing influential persons who have lot of clout, have not booked any cases against the offenders.

A senior GHMC official, working in the veterinary wing, told Deccan Chronicle that the Humane Society International (HSI), one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations, in their report said that there has been no evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted from pets to humans. He said that as per HSI report, that there is little evidence that dogs and cats contract Covid-19. 

However, the official said that though Covid-19 can be transmitted from human to animals, there have been few cases reported only in China and Singapore.

The corporation official said that as of now, there is Covid-19 transmission among stray animals.

The civic body has vaccinated stray dogs. When asked if there is a Corona vaccine available for dogs and cats, he said, many animals carry coronaviruses but it is not Covid-19 strain.

He said coronavirus that dogs and cats commonly carry is not transferable to humans.

“There has been vaccine for coronavirus which attacks gastrointestinal system but Covid-19 virus affects the respiratory system. The coronaviruses in dogs and cats are mild, the corona vaccines are considered non-essential and not routinely recommended. We have been giving such corona vaccines to stray animals and many private veterinary doctors have been practising the same for several years,” he added.

What pets owners tested Corona positive should do:

When handling and caring for animals, basic hygiene measures should always be implemented. This includes hand washing before and after being around or handling animals, their food or supplies, as well as avoiding kissing, licking or sharing food.

When possible, people who are sick or under medical attention for Covid-19, should avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of their household care for their animals.

If they must look after their pet, they should maintain good hygiene practices and wear a face mask if possible.

Animals belonging to owners infected with Covid-19 should be kept indoors as much as possible and contact with those pets should be avoided as much as possible.

Currently, there is no evidence that companion animals are playing a significant epidemiological role in this human disease.

However, because animals and people can sometimes share diseases (known as zoonotic diseases), it is still recommended that people who are sick with Covid-19 limit contact with companion and other animals until more information is known about the virus.

Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad