In the Midst of a Storm
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
In Live Oak, FL there has been and overflow in the animal shelter, connected to the fear and panic of animal carrying COVID 19. In April, a tiger in the Bronx zoo contracted COVID and this is when the animal shelter received an influx of calls concerning abuse and neglect. (https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/6/21211217/pets-cats-tigers-bronx-zoo-covid-19-coronavirus) People were now leaving inside dogs outside, bleaching dog's paws, spraying the dogs with Lysol and even dumping the dogs in public places. The month of April, the shelter was encouraging people to foster a dog and giving the family a bag of food.
Director of the shelter Denise Watson stated " The most heart-breaking thing about some of these cases are the people didn't think before doing these acts to dogs in particular. They just had a fear and with hearing about the Tigers getting it, it just struck a fear. The CDC does however suggest that you keep your pets at a distance like people.
Currently, there is no cases involving dogs in the world. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html) However in Hong Kong, there was a Pomeranian that presented symptoms and was tested. He tested positive for COVID, debunking what the CDC said. (https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3065016/coronavirus-pet-dog-belonging-covid-19-patient).
Denise did say "that most of the abuse that is done is mostly by Elderly adults that are not fully educated about the COVID and are listening to other media outlets. A dog can't register this kind of pain and when we rescue them they go into a deep depression. The owners that thought they were protecting them are in tears. It's sad that fear can drive us to do. Of course, if you see abuse report it."Another problem that is occurring in Live Oak, is people neglecting their dogs and dropping the animals off. People are keeping their houses so clean that a person can easily think a dog is dirty.
It has not been a documented case in the United States. Fear drives the emotions of people to do anything to protect themselves.
The Live Oak animal shelter is currently adopting some of these animals out, or even taking the animals home themselves. The shelter is urging people to research COVID for themselves. Animals are not objects and to think before hurting them. Not only do these animals have physical recovery but they have trust recovery also.