Hundreds of pet owners are abandoning their animals on roads fearing they would infect them with the Covid. Founder president of Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals Pradeep Kumar Nath said pet parents were not aware that it was human beings who could infect the animals and not the other way round.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, Nath said around 60 percent of pet animals, including birds, cats, calves and passerine birds, had been abandoned by the owners during the two phases of Covid-19. In a week, usually, we pick up 20 dogs of all pedigrees and sometimes 10 in a day abandoned by owners and sheltering them in the animals’ rescue centre being run by VSPCA.” He said due to the misinformation that the dogs and cats carry the virus, they were being mercilessly thrown out of homes. There is no food for these animals either from charity organisations, individuals, tourists or shopkeepers due to the lockdown.
Nath, who conducts animal birth control programmes for stray dogs, said he had appealed the GVMC officials to microchip domestic animals and pet animals and maintain a database so that they cannot be thrown out according to the whims of the owners. He said as per the VSPCA census, there were about a million stray dogs and 2.5 lakh pet dogs in Andhra Pradesh. Nath said it was tragic that when developed nations were trying to bring out vaccines for the protection of animals, Indians were running away from animals.
Chief Veterinary Officer of GVMC Dr N Kishore Kumar said there were chances of human beings infecting pet animals and they had been creating awareness among the owners. We are also creating awareness among the pet owners not to abandon their animals as the GVMC would vaccinate the pets free of cost.” Curator of Indira Gandhi Zoological Park Nandini Salaria said after the infection cases detected in Hyderabad and Vandalur Zoos, they had been taking all the precautions.