A Chinese animal wellness organisation, Vshine Animal Protection Association, estimates that tens of thousands of pets have been abandoned or worse killed.

The sobering news is not quite the cat’s meow … or the dog’s tuxedo.

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t just taking a horrible toll on human beings, their furbabies have been affected too – in a drastic way.

In the Chinese city of Wuhan – regarded as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak – a large number of cats and dogs have died or are at risk of dying in the wake of residents evacuating their homes because of the lockdown, CNN reports.

Vshine Animal Protection Association, a China-based animal welfare and environmental organization, reportedly received at least 400 calls for assistance and have helped save at least 380 dogs and cats that were left behind.

“Things can get worse if the epidemic remains uncontrolled,” Vshine’s chief of staff Deng Fang told the outlet.

The organization, which partners with Humane Society International, has estimated that the number of dogs and cats left behind in apartments in Hubei province are in the tens of thousands.

There’s even a group that is setting out to kill animals over fears that the innocent creatures are spreading the deadly disease, which has already claimed more than 4,000 lives globally.

Fang shared that group listed its name as the Urban Construction Administration and stated it would start to kill cats and dogs that were outside of homes in order to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.

According to Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, there is no evidence that pet animals can be infected with COVID-19 virus or can be a source of infection to people.

“Members of the public are advised to differentiate that ‘being infected’ does not equal being infectious and capable of spreading the COVID-19 virus,” the organization wrote on its Facebook page March 4. “We wish to remind the public that there is no evidence that companion animals can transmit the disease to humans.”

In February, Reuters reported that officials in Suichang, a small county in nearby Zhejiang, ordered residents to keep their dogs at home because dogs caught in public will be exterminated.

At the time, the province was second to Hubei with the most COVID-19 infections.

Due to what has been described as spurious rumors, pet owners in Beijing and Shanghai were prompted to buy face masks for their dogs in their mistaken belief that pets could catch the virus.

Original source: https://www.nydailynews.com/