Pet Parents: Expert Say Your Pets Can’t Pass You the Coronavirus

Published on March 22, 2020

Pet parents across the globe can rejoice and hug their furry little ones tighter tonight, after experts say animals can’t pass the coronavirus, COVID-19, to humans.

Pomeranian’s Death Causes Concern Among Pet Owner Community

The concern sparked among pet parents after news broke out from China, following the passing of a 17-year-old Pomeranian who apparently recovered from the virus

But the South China Morning Post reported the government released the pooch from quarantine after testing negative for the disease. 

“The department learned from the dog’s owner that it had passed away on March 16. The owner said she was not willing to [allow] an autopsy to examine the cause of death,” according to a spokesperson from the city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

Expert says its ‘nonsense’

However, one expert told CNN the idea that pets can transmit COVID-19 is ‘nonsense’.

“No. I think the idea that we’re going to give this virus to our pets or we’re going to get it from them is just nonsense,” said Dr. John Williams, chief of the divisions of pediatric infectious disease at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg. 

And the CDC’s website says infected animals “have become able to infect humans and then spread between people, but this is rare.”

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are two coronavirus examples that spread from animals to humans. 

Practice Good Hygiene, Pet Parents

But the CDC website says although “there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets, livestock or wildlife, might be the source of COVID-19” animals can carry germs and get people sick. So, practicing good hygiene is a good idea.

  • Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.
  • Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.
  • Take pets to the veterinarian regularly and talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health.
Adopt from Local Animal Shelter 

Many Wuhan residents in China evacuated their homes after the lockdown, leaving behind their cats and dogs leading to many dying of starvation or being killed.

To prevent a butterfly effect, Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the nonprofit American Human, told TODAY, “in times like these, shelters are going to [be] absolutely swamped with tremendous number of pets….we have to be able to provide safety valves for those shelters to release some of their populations into fostering homes. Truly, we are in a major crisis for animal shelters and for rescue groups.”

Besides being the purr-fect companion, a study found human interaction can “reduce anxiety, depression, and loneliness as they enhance social support and general well-being.”

So there’s never been a better time to adopt a furry little friend. And that’s exactly what Humane Society of Greater Daytona animal shelter in Ohio experience. In a WHIOTV7 article, nearly 100 percent of the foster animals were adopted. 

“With so many of us staying home right now, many have had the opportunity to open their hearts and homes to help temporarily foster our animals as we all navigate through these uncertain times,” Brian Weltge, Humane Society president & CEO told WHIOTV7.

Animal shelters are putting out pleas for the public to help adopt pets. The Animal Care Centers of NYC, Lost Our Home Pet Resource, and Austin Pets Alive! are just some of the animal shelters asking the public to adopt.  

Kevin Pichinte is a staff writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is a news associate at ABC7 and was formerly a digital news intern at NBC7 and TLM20. At Grit Daily, he covers entertainment and culture news.

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