5 things you need to know about COVID19 and animals

By March 14, 2020 March 18th, 2020 No Comments

There’s so much being said about COVID19 and not merely enough about how our pets come into all this.  Whilst this might not be everybody’s top priority right now, it is ours!

Here are 5 things you should know about COVID19 and animals.

1. Keep them safe :

There is absolutely no evidence to indicate that animals can transmit COVID19 to humans. But because this is an animal welfare site, which puts the interest of animals before that of humans, our advise is to keep pets away from any risks, for their sake not ours.  Cats and dogs are mammals. This means that they have similar cell receptors as humans. So whilst it’s clear that they can’t transmit the virus to us, we don’t know enough on how exposure can effect them. So keep them safe. Keep them away from possible exposure.

2. Feeders should not be locked down :

In the case of a national lockdown, feeders (who have not been exposed to the virus) should still be allowed to go out and feed their colonies. There are no two ways about this – feeding cat colonies is as essential as buying medicine for humans. Firstly because not feeding is cruel and secondly because if cats start to die, we will end up with another problem on our hands – an infestation of dead cats – which is not what we need right now (nor ever). So, if you have cats in your area, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, close access to your feeders. If you’re a feeder and are facing opposition or denied access, please contact :
Animal Welfare on 1717
and /or
The Office of the Commissioner for Animal Welfare
Telephone (+356) 2292 8618 | Email caw.mesdc@gov.​mt​  |Commissioner ​For Animal Welfare​: [email protected]​​

3. Be prepared :

If you get sick or quarantined, you should make sure that your pets are taken care of. Make sure to have enough pet food/medicine stocked up, and make arrangements so that if you’re indisposed, someone, a neighbour, a relative or a friend takes care of your pets. Make sure to advise them not just about food but also about any medications that need to be administered to your pets, until you can make it back home.

4. Scared? Help anyway :

Many animal shelters are temporarily closing their doors to visitors in an effort to contain the virus. This is a good move and is to be commended. However it is during such times that we should thank the many volunteers who risk their health and their lives to keep the shelters running and the animals healthy. We cannot visit the shelters, we cannot physically lend a helping hand, but we can donate to ease the hardship and make sure that we come out of this with healthy happy shelter animals. Here are some animal shelter donation numbers and contacts.
Association for Abandoned Animals | Noah’s Ark | Island Sanctuary |CSAF | Animal Care Malta| SPCA Malta

5. Common sense :

There is a lot of confusion on what we are supposed to do to curb the spread of this deadly virus.  Words like ‘self-observation’, ‘voluntary and mandatory quarantine’ are flying around, and no one really knows what they mean. Here’s an easy rule of thumb for all pet owners – stay home as much as possible and let no one in, unless absolutely necessary.  If your cat is one to leave the house, don’t allow it to do so for the next couple of weeks. Keep your cats at home to avoid them coming into contact with potential contagions.  And if you can get your dog to poop and pee inside, do not walk your dog either. If you must go out for a wee, and I understand that with some dogs it’s close to impossible not to, make sure to go for the shortest route possible and make contact with no one.

And finally, remember, your pets don’t know why you’re home all the time, but they sure are over the moon that you are. Make the best of this time to enjoy your pets. Spoil them rotten, teach them a few tricks and let them teach you a thing or two about how to handle stress.

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