News / Covid-19

Jade le Roux
2 minute read
20 Mar 2020
2:06 pm

SPCA reports influx of pets dumped due to coronavirus fears

Jade le Roux

Many pet owners mistakenly think that Covid-19 can be spread through their pets, resulting in a significant increase in animals being dumped at the NGO.

File image for illustration: IStock

The Pietermaritzburg SPCA is dispelling all rumours that Covid-19 can be carried by animals.

They are responding to an increasing amount of pet owners dumping their cats and dogs out of fear that they will contract the virus from their pets, reports Capital Newspapers.

“You cannot get Covid-19 from an animal. They are not carriers,” Senior Inspector Roland Fivaz confirmed.

He said in the last 24 hours, they have experienced multiple cases of animals being dumped at the SPCA, and even outside their gates.

“Yesterday, someone walked in and handed two cats over the counter, but we have had other cases where people just drop them outside the gate. If you are going surrender your animal, for whatever reason, please walk in and hand it to us, so the animal doesn’t have a chance to run away,” Fivaz pleaded.

He explained that although there is a strain of coronavirus that dogs are susceptible to, and which dogs get vaccinated against, it is in no way linked to the Covid-19 strain carried in humans.

“People just read coronavirus and they get freaked out. Dogs do get a form of coronavirus, but it is a totally different strain,” Fivaz confirmed.

He urged people not to panic and dump their pets out of fear, as they are not a threat or carrier.

The coronavirus pandemic is negatively impacting the Pietermaritzburg SPCA in other ways as well.

SPCA PR officer Sandy Hooman explained that due to the national ban on large public gatherings, the SPCA has had to pull out of many fundraising events.

“The cancellation of The Royal Show is also a huge financial loss for us, as it is one of our biggest fundraisers,” she said.

In light of this, the SPCA is appealing to the public to remember them and help in whatever way they can.

Their banking details can be found here.

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