Monday 16 August 2021

4 Covid reasons why pet owners in Indonesia have abandoned their pets

There are 4 Covid reasons why Indonesians have abandoned their companion animals at this time. Are they valid? Could they have been avoided in some instances? They are as follows:

  1. Because of the pandemic many people have tested positive and a large number of those have gone to hospital. They had to leave behind a companion animal to be cared for by somebody else. In some instances, the cats and dogs were, in effect, abandoned until rescued and taken to a rescue centre;
  2. When Covid sufferers have recovered, if they have recovered, sometimes they don't return to reclaim and be reunited with their companion animals. They give them up;
  3. Sometimes Indonesians are frightened about the news of transmission from cats and dogs to people and therefore they abandon their companion animals in order to protect themselves from getting the disease. Note: the talk of transmission from companion animals to people, I believe, is exaggerated. It is possible because this is a zoonotic disease but people should not be overly-fearful of getting the disease from their pets. It is more likely that pet owners give the disease to their pet.
  4. Sometimes companion owners end up in hospital with the disease and sadly they don't recover; they pass away and therefore leave their companion animal uncared for. I suppose they end up in a shelter where they are hopefully rehomed provided the animals are spotted and rescued.

The story about Indonesian animal lovers being separated from their companion animals due to Covid is disheartening. There must be many cases of abandoned pets. One example was a four-year-old Indonesian pit-bull dog who was at home alone for two days without food when a group of volunteers found her. She was left behind when her owner tested positive for Covid-19. Query: why don't these cat and dog owners make arrangements for their pet to be cared for? They must have time to do this, surely?

Animal Defenders shelter, Parung, Bogor
 Animal Defenders shelter, Parung, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia.

The reports coming back from Indonesia are that the country is battling one of the worst coronavirus epidemics in Asia. There have been over 100,000 deaths. The Animal Defender animal rescue group have started the AD-19 program to rescue companion animals left in limbo when their owners have to deal with the coronavirus infection.

There must be an enormous amount of pressure on animal rescue centres under these circumstances. Costs are substantial. The founder one shelter said that the costs are about $8000 per month to run.

I sense though that people who get Covid-19 are sometimes being careless with respect to their pets.

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