‘Can’t abandon them in such times’: Pet owners debunk rumours

Social Media.

New Delhi: While Indians, like people around the globe, are busy battling the outbreak of coronavirus, social media platforms are filled with rumours regarding the spread of the disease.

One such rumour, which is doing rounds on various communication platforms, is the transfer of coronavirus through animals and pets. Believing this, many people have reportedly abandoned their pets.

However, this “information” is just a rumour as the World Health Organisation has rejected the claim that the disease spreads through animals.

Speaking to IANS regarding the current scenario, Ambika Rattanmani, owner of a female Cocker Spaniel, said: “I would say, please do not abandon them, they really need us in such tough times.They blindly trust us and commit their whole life to us, please be responsible and take care of yourself and them too. Get aware, about pets and coronavirus especially what WHO has said, believe it.”

“Just maintain cleanliness and hygiene, don’t take them out on a walk or let them out, clean them, especially their paws, with a disinfectant frequently. If you’re really unsure, don’t let them come on to your bed… give them a separate bed and clean the sheets regularly,” she said.

“Please feed stray animals as their real source of food like shops and restaurants are closed due to the lockdown. Keep two bowls – one with water, another with food outside your home to feed these homeless creatures,” she appealed.

Aparna Anande, on taking care of her Golden Retriever, said: “We are not taking him out for walks, we let him play inside, we sanitise his eating bowls, keep his cloth clean and do everything to keep his personal hygiene intact. We also keep his toys sanitised and the regular health check ups and vaccination is going on.”

To reports of people abandoning their pets, she said: “I don’t know if my advice would change anyone’s mind but I would certainly like to ask a question first, ‘If your child or any family member gets sick due to any disease, not just this particular virus, would you abandon them?’ I think not, so if you really consider pets as your family, please keep your rationality intact and do not abandon them.”

Shefali Ranawat, who owns a male German Shephard, told IANS over phone: “Abandoning them is not going to help any of you. Instead in such situations (curfew), people should at least feed them and make them feel like we are here for them.”

“Its definitely a scary situation for everybody all over the world. Mentally, I am meditating and keeping the stress and anxiety away. And physically, yes i am following required measures,” she added.