Volunteers in China say they’re struggling to keep up with the number of animals being abandoned as the country battles the virus outbreak.
More than 2,000 people in China have died and more than 78,000 infections have been reported in the country.
Pet owners who fall sick or are caught up in quarantine can’t take their animals with them, and despite reassurance from the World Health Organization that animals can’t carry the virus, others are being dumped.
“I have rescued lots of dogs this month, most have been abandoned by their owners,” one volunteer from Furry Angels Heaven in Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak, told the BBC.
“One animal’s owner has coronavirus and was sent to quarantine. Fortunately a policeman sent her to me.”
The volunteer didn’t want to reveal her name because of fears of official repercussions. She said she has 35 dogs and 28 cats in her apartment in addition to the animal rescue centre she helps operate.
“It’s a bad situation here. We are not allowed to go outside and I am afraid my dogs and cats will be out of food soon. I am worried if I or my family get infected with the virus then all of the dogs and cats could be killed by policemen.”
Without income from its regular paid work at the moment, she fears the animal centre’s savings could be used up soon.
“It’s expensive to rescue these animals”, she said.
As soon as the lockdown is over, the animals will be available for adoption.
Source: BBC News