Amid misconceptions about Covid-19 spread through animals, owners abandon pets in Pune
According to animal activists, foreign dog breeds like dobermans, labradors, German shepherds and golden retrievers has been seen roaming on the city streets without food and shelterUpdated: May 24, 2020 18:25 IST
Misconception that pet animals can transmit the Sars-Cov-2 virus which causes Covid-19(coronavirus) infection, has led many owners to abandon them, said animal activists from the city.
According to animal activists, foreign dog breeds like dobermans, labradors, German shepherds and golden retrievers have been seen roaming on the city streets without food and shelter.
“We have rescued more than 20 foreign breed dogs from the streets during the lockdown period,” said Vineeta Tandon, co-founder and trustee, Animal Rescue Trust.
“Recently in Sangvi, a nine-year-old golden retriever was found with a note around his neck where his (dog’s) details and our Trust’s number was written. The dog is currently with a girl who contacted us and now, we will bring the dog to the shelter,” added Tandon whose shelter is located in Manjri.
The government had issued guidelines as dogs and cats do not transmit the virus, but still many people carry misconceptions, said activists.
“Awareness is still required among people. At Manjri and Hinjewadi, Covid-19 awareness flexes suggest keeping dogs and cats at bay during this pandemic. I complained about these flexes to the people responsible and got the pictures of pets and the misinformation removed,” added Tandon.
Animal Adoption and Rescue Team (AART) members, who have been patrolling the city streets, have also noticed a rise in the number of abandoned dogs in the last 60 days of the lockdown.
According to Ajay Pujar, senior volunteer, Animal Adoption and Rescue Team, many foreign breed dogs were seen on the streets in the last two months which is not common. “Our volunteers are working in all the areas and once we get to know about such dogs, our van picks the dog and it is transferred to the shelter,” said Pujar.
“Many students who have left for their hometowns due to the lockdown have abandoned their dogs so we are rescuing them as well,” added Pujar.
Animal welfare groups from the city – AART (Animal Adoption and Rescue Team) and DAWG (Deccan Animal Welfare Group) have appealed to residents to join in the cause of feeding street animals. One can contact 9673988890 for more details.