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Why pets are at risk during this pandemic


Heather Fraser, Damien Riggs, Nick Taylor The time the article was published 18 minutes ago

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In the months ahead, the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a series of dramatic social, political and environmental changes. However, the focus remains resolutely on humans, excluding most of the animals from the image.

Initially it was estimated that animals make up the risk vector for Covid-19, but the World Health Organization states: “There is no evidence that dogs, cats, or pets can be infected with Covid-19.” .

But animals, especially those living in our homes, are at risk in ways not currently considered in national policy responses. This includes risk of abandonment, opportunistic adoption, bad consequences after a pandemic, and domestic violence.

Moreover, public conversation is not and should be directed to “pets” or shelter contingency plans.

Adopt only when you are ready to commit

Opportunistic adoption during this outbreak carries risks. When returning to the office after working at home, animals can be abandoned, experience separation anxiety, and begin to exhibit destructive behavior.

People who adopt their animals only during the pandemic may return them to shelter when they return to work. This is another possible point of animal distress.

People can also adopt animals, but only to find out that they can no longer take care of them after a pandemic. This reflects the high abandonment rates seen after festive periods, where dogs and cats are often given as gifts.

In fact, some animal shelters screen their adopted families more closely to make sure that potential owners are lifelong emotional and economic commitments, not impulse decisions. I am doing it.

And, importantly, the abandonment of pets will surge if a pandemic leads to a recession. This is especially worrisome for older animals that can be abandoned due to increased care costs.

Pets at risk of domestic violence

Pandemic domestic violence rates are skyrocketing around the world as people in abusive households are trapped. In response, the federal government has announced increased funding for domestic violence services.

However, animals, despite being victims, are often excluded from these conversations about domestic violence. A 2008 Victorian study found that 53% of women who entered shelters to escape domestic violence had their pets also harmed.

What needs to be changed

Short-term and long-term response is required. There is currently a need for a public health campaign on the proper treatment of pets during social distance and illness.

Such campaigns contain clear and definitive information about coronavirus transmission through pets. It also contains advice on how to exercise animals during a pandemic. It also emphasizes that animals, like humans, require routines and structures when trapped.

We bring animals to our homes and make them dependent on us. Therefore, you should plan your care if you get sick or go to the hospital. This may include the provision of a surrogate or secondary caregiver in case of death, or a will.

Animal shelters, rescue networks, and animal sanctuaries also need to be funded to avoid lockdown problems.

This work suggests that disaster planning needs to help people make preventive plans for animal well-being, rather than responding to crises.

Since most of us are at home, it’s time to look back at our ability to treat and recruit animals, and what contingency plans are in place.


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