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Owners abandon pets fearing virus spread from animals to humans

Believing the rumours that coronavirus could spread to humans from animals, many have abandoned their pets, said animal activists in the city.

Owners abandon pets fearing virus spread from animals to humans
Photo courtesy: Twitter


They say this was happening not only in Chennai but elsewhere in the country, blaming it on the misconception due to lack of awareness.

“Many people are under the misconception that pets spread the virus and end up abandoning animals. For the past 10 days, I have been getting calls from people seeking to leave their pets in shelter permanently.

After advising them that abandoning animals is an offense as per Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, I also explained how the animals would undergo mental trauma if abandoned. Some of them understood,” said Sai Vignesh, an animal activist from Tiruvallur.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the virus does not transmit from pets to humans. However, that has not stopped many from abandoning their pets and are refusing to take the animals back even after being assured by activists.

“Even after advising them to take away their pets back home, many are refusing to do so due to rumors being spread through social media. All these years, they have showered their love and care on the animals. But after seeing the fake news, they abandon the pets without any thought or concern for the mental and physical health of their pets,” said Praveen Kumar S, another activist.

“If there is awareness among the people, there won’t be any case of pets being abandoned in the country,” added Sai Vignesh.

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