Mumbai: 'Set up isolation centres for COVID patients' pets,' say NGOs

Updated: Jun 24, 2020, 07:39 IST | Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

NGOs ask Animal Welfare board as several owners abandon their pets after testing positive for the virus

Some of the pet animals and birds rescued by NGOs in the city over the past few days
Some of the pet animals and birds rescued by NGOs in the city over the past few days

Plant & Animals Welfare Society-Mumbai (PAWS) and Amma Care Foundation — a Mira Road-based NGO has written a letter to Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) asking for separate quarantine centres where they should provide care for pet animals and birds if their owners test positive for COVID-19.

Sunish Subramanian, founder of PAWS said, "Most of the COVID-19 patients are keeping their pets into lodges where they end up paying rent of Rs 600-Rs 1,000 per day while some prefer foster homes. However, several NGOs have complained that the COVID-19 owners don't take back their pets even after they are released from quarantine centres or hospital." "So the state's Animal Husbandry Department should intervene in such matters to take such pets under their wing and arrange for their food, water, shelter and health services till their owners are fit enough to take care of themselves," he added.

"Recently we rescued two African love birds and a Cockatiel from Mira Road after their owners tested positive for Coronavirus. The birds were rescued sent to a shelter. We also rescued two rabbits from Mira Road after a family tested positive for COVID-19. We bathe the rabbits and then sent them to a foster home. But the owners are now not ready to take them back. So we have decided to send them for adoption," Subramanian explained. Poonam Gidwani of Save the Paws' said, "Recently we rescued three dogs including two Boxers and one Labrador from Bandra after a family tested positive for COVID-19. We did medical of the dogs and sent them to Pawfect Life foster which is run by Niharika Sekhri at Andheri East. However, when we contacted the family, they are not ready to take the animals back. So we have decided to send them for adoption."

However, AWBI Secretary, Sujit Dutta refusing to comment on this said, "Many people and NGOs are helping animals and birds in Mumbai and other states. We are not in process for doing anything in this matter."

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