Crucial Coronavirus Info For Pet Parents

Photo Credit: Getty Images

(PET HEALTH/ANIMAL SAFETY) As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, and given the abundance of false information circulating the web, it’s critical to stay informed regarding disease transmission details.

For instance, contrary to false rumors, multiple vetted organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), have all confirmed pets are not at risk of transmitting COVID-19.

Continue reading below to learn all you need to know about keeping your pets safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes pet-safe cleaning info, as well as tips on how to keep your pet occupied and active during this uncertain time. — Global Animal

Stay up-to-date on the facts about dogs and COVID-19. Photo Credit: Getty Images


As the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, (the virus that causes COVID-19), continues its advance across the globe, we know many of you are concerned about the health and safety of your family—including your pets. Because we at Rover are pet lovers too, we understand and share your concerns. We wanted to do our part to help answer some of the questions we are hearing from the Rover community and pet parents about dogs and the coronavirus.

In consultation with Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinarian on Rover’s Dog People Panel and author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, and in accordance with the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), we’ve put together this resource for pet parents to address some of the questions you may have, from disease transmission details to how to keep your pet occupied while you try to get some work done, and to simply provide reassurance and the facts about dogs and COVID-19.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the disease and update this article with new information as it becomes available.

Important: This resource is intended for educational purposes and should not be considered a substitute for a veterinary examination.

For now, let’s move on to the big question.

There is no evidence that companion animals can transmit COVID-19. Photo Credit: The Wall Street Journal

Can Pets Get the Coronavirus?

According to the CDC, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be shared between people and our dogs, cats, or other companion animals. As of 3/11/2020, the CDC states:

There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.

As indicated above, and, as Richter explains below, a companion animal of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 could carry the virus on their fur or elsewhere on their body, so we echo the CDC’s recommendation to “wash your hands after being around animals.”

Biologist, science educator, and Rover blogger Emilie Bess explains more in our article, Can Dogs Get the Coronavirus?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has refuted rumors that dogs and cats can catch the coronavirus.

Dogs and Coronavirus: FAQ

We asked Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinarian on Rover’s Dog People Panel and author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, some frequently asked questions about pets and the coronavirus.

Should I be concerned about my dog or cat picking up the novel coronavirus infection?

There is no evidence at this time that dogs or cats can become ill due to the novel coronavirus. There have been cases of dogs testing weak positive when they have been living with an infected person, but it is not suspected these animals can pass the virus to humans.

Should I be cleaning my dog/cat more often? Should I sanitize my pet in any way?

There are no particular precautions regarding keeping pets clean relative to the coronavirus.

If the pet was exposed to an infected person, it is theoretically possible that virus particles on their fur could be picked up by a human as a result of petting (although this is unlikely).

If a pet is suspected to have been exposed to an infected person, bathing the pet should resolve any concerns about them carrying virus on their fur.

Should I change my behavior around my cat/dog while this disease is going around?

There is no evidence to suggest this is necessary.

Should I be afraid of petting other dogs, going to the dog park, or gathering in large groups of other pets?

The concern here is from people, not other animals. Going to the dog park might expose people to other infected humans. There is currently no evidence to suggest that transmission from dog (or cat) to human has occurred.

It’s important to keep your pet active with puzzle toys and enriching games and activities. Photo Credit: Corey Jenkins/Getty Images

Working at Home with Dogs: How to Stay Active

Health authorities are recommending “social distancing” to help prevent the spread of the virus. Even if you’re not under quarantine due to an infection with or exposure to COVID-19, you’re likely limiting your activities and you may be working from home.

While your dog may be thrilled to have you around more often, they’re also likely to get bored or restless. And they may very well distract you from getting work done.

As Dr. Richter mentions above, going to the dog park might not be a great idea right now. But daily walks are advisable—both for your dog’s activity level and your own!

Additionally, check out these fun, easy ways to stay active with your dog indoors.

Other ideas for keeping busy include puzzle toys for dogs and enriching games and activities like these.

And finally, if you’re homebound for the foreseeable future and looking for ways to get extra snuggly with your pets, we have a guide for that, too. It’s called  The Ultimate Guide to Getting Cozy With Your Dog (and Cat).

Pet-Safe Cleaning Tips

Washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and sanitizing surfaces: these recommendations are important in any home, with or without pets.

But as Dr. Richter points out, there’s no need to use special “sanitizing” products on your pet. In fact, hand sanitizer, with its high alcohol content, should not be applied to your dog (or cat). Instead, an ordinary bath with pet-safe soap or shampoo will suffice.

Pet-specific paw wipes are handy for reducing dirt and wiping away potential allergens like pollen and dander. They will not kill germs like the coronavirus, however (just as human baby wipes cannot).

See our recommendations for our favorite pet shampoos here.

Services on Rover and the Coronavirus

Rover continues to monitor updates from the CDC and the WHO and follow their specific recommendations (you can read our official statement to our community on the new coronavirus here). Our team is staying current on all developments surrounding the new coronavirus and will continue to provide resources to keep our community informed and up to date. As this is an evolving situation, please consult the CDC and the WHO for updates.

However, if you are feeling sick, please consider whether you should cancel any services on Rover to reduce the risk of spreading germs to others. For instructions on how to cancel a booking, read this article from the Rover Help Center. You can also contact our customer service team at 888-453-7889 if you have questions about cancellation or booking policies.

The Silver Lining? Dogs Reduce Stress

We know the news is heavy these days and can feel overwhelming, but Rover has a secret weapon: Dogs are awesome to be around in times of stress!

Spending time with your canine companion can help ease your anxiety, lift your oxytocin levels, and might even help you live longer.

Other great things about dogs?

  • They can’t help falling in love with you.
  • They have the best Instagram accounts!
  • They’re the best source of feel-good news.
  • Every. Single. One. Is. Cute!
  • They’re really smart.
  • They stimulate the mind.
  • Dogs are basically just…the best.

And that’s positive news we can all use.

More Rover:

Celebrate Respect Your Cat Day With These Purr-fect Cat Facts

Cuddling, Kittens, Cute Animal Pictures, Love, Valentine's Day
Adorable animals getting in the Valentines Day spirit by cuddling! Photo Credit:

(CATS/PETS) March 28 is annual Respect Your Cat Day—as if you needed an unofficial holiday to love and cherish your adorable feline friend, but everyone deserves their own special day.

It’s the “purr-fect” day to spend lavishing your beloved cat and showing them how much they are loved.

Check out these fun cat facts for annual Respect Your Cat Day:

Cuddling, Kittens, Cute Animal Pictures, Love, Valentine's Day
These adorable kittens celebrate their day with cuddles! Photo Credit:
  • Cats and humans have been linked together for almost 10,000 years.
  • A group of cats is called a clowder, a male cat is called a tom, a female cat is called a molly or queen.
  • On average, cats live for 12-15 years.
  • Cats sleep an average 13-14 hours a day to conserve energy.
  • Americans are proud parents to 86.4 billion domesticated cats.

If you’re looking for a creative way to celebrate this day, check out the infographic below made by our friends at Terry’s Fabrics. Terry’s Fabrics depicted what they believe a home designed by a cat would look like, equipped with lots of boxes and a room fully dedicated to scratching everything.

Infographic, cats, çat house, respect your cat day, funny cat memes, funny cat pictures

Infographic, cats, çat house, respect your cat day, funny cat memes, funny cat pictures

Infographic, cats, çat house, respect your cat day, funny cat memes, funny cat pictures

Infographic, cats, çat house, respect your cat day, funny cat memes, funny cat pictures

Infographic, cats, çat house, respect your cat day, funny cat memes, funny cat pictures

View the infographic in its entirety at

Cats make great companions, and should be treated as if every day was Respect Your Cat Day. Make sure to pamper your feline friend with their favorite treat and some extra love.

— Cara Meyers, exclusive to Global Animal

With Sports On Hold, Rugby Announcer Gives Play-By-Play Of Everyday Life

(DOGS/ANIMAL VIDEOS) With live sports on hold (along with the rest of the world) due to the coronavirus pandemic, sports professionals have found themselves totally out of sorts. Fortunately rugby commentator Nick Heath is still keeping himself busy, commentating on normal day-to-day life. Listen as he offers a play-by-play in this video of two dogs—whom he refers to as “Vanilla” and “Chocolate”—racing around a park. — Global Animal

Two Paws Up For National Puppy Day!

dogs, puppies, yawn, animals
Photo Credit:

(ANIMAL NEWS/NATIONAL PUPPY DAY) Today is National Puppy Day, and animal shelters across the globe are celebrating by raising awareness about puppy adoption.

National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Colleen Paige, a pet and home lifestyle expert who also created National Dog Day and National Cat Day. The national holiday is intended to help save orphaned puppies while educating the public about the cruelty behind puppy mills.

Read on to learn more about the importance of National Puppy Day, and for helpful tips on how to care for a new puppy— Global Animal

dogs, puppies, yawn, animals
Mark your calendars: National Puppy Day is March 23. Photo Credit:

CNN, Todd Leopold

Happiness, Charles M. Schulz famously observed, is a warm puppy.

Today, on National Puppy Day, there’s always plenty of happiness to go around.

Consider the youthful canines at the Humane Society of Utah.

Sarge, a 5-month-old pit bull mix, looks at you with welcoming eyes. Storm, a 2-month-old Jack Russell mix, looks like he’d love companionship as much as peanut butter. And how can you resist the goofy, quizzical look of Jax, a 6-month-old Australian shepherd mix?

Guinnevere Shuster, the Humane Society of Utah’s photographer and social media coordinator, gave the pups’ photos the professional treatment and says the idea is just to help them find new homes.

“We try to do these photos for dogs who maybe need a little extra help getting adopted,” she said.

Puppies usually sell themselves — who doesn’t love a puppy? — but even there the photos raise awareness.

“Maybe not a lot of people are aware that shelters and rescues are filled with puppies,” she said. “Even if you’re looking for a younger dog, the chances are you can find one that needs a home at a shelter or rescue.”

Education and love

National Puppy Day is the brainchild of Colleen Paige, a lifestyle expert who also created National Dog Day and National Cat Day. The goal, says the National Puppy Day website, is “to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills.”

Photo Credit: Tree Leaf Clover/Flickr
Many are not aware that animal shelters and rescues are often filled with puppies, ready for adoption. Photo Credit: Tree Leaf Clover/Flickr

The Humane Society of Utah, a no-kill shelter south of Salt Lake City in Murray, can hold up to 300 dogs. On an average day, about 50 or 60 will be adopted. In 2015, it managed to place more than 5,000.

That said, there are always more: unwanted litters, strays, pickups from other shelters. Shuster notes that the society sees many pit bulls and herding dogs — the former because of their reputation for violence (a myth, she adds), the latter because their energy can be overwhelming for some people.

Indeed, it’s important to remember that those cute puppies require plenty of care and training. If you’re away for nine hours a day, perhaps a puppy isn’t for you.

Don’t take them for granted:

  • Give them time and effort. “It’s no different than having a small child or an infant,” Shuster said.
  • Get them socialized. “They need to be able to play with other dogs. They need to be exposed to other people. We always recommend people take their puppies to obedience classes — not only because it helps socialize them, but having good doggie manners is always a plus,” she said.
  • Spay or neuter your pet. You shouldn’t need Bob Barker to tell you this.

A new friend

Also, puppies do grow up. Shuster says a number of puppies are surrendered to the Humane Society around the 5-month mark because they’ve outgrown the cute stage.

(Hopefully, that won’t happen to Sarge, Storm and Jax, all of which were adopted in recent days.)

But don’t worry: if you’re ready for a puppy, no doubt there’s one ready for you. On National Puppy Day, drop by your local shelter and see if you can find a friend.

Nothing will make you happier.

More CNN:

Coping With Coronavirus: Dogs Enjoying Quarantine (PHOTOS)

(PETS/DOG PICTURES) While Americans attempt to curb the coronavirus outbreak by staying at home, pets nationwide are living their best lives as they hang out with their guardians practically 24/7.

Take a look at how these Instagram dogs are handling the coronavirus pandemic–whether they’re stocking up on TP or helping out around the home paw-ffice.

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Have a great weekend and avoid the Corona-virus! 🍺 🐾🎉

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Self-Isolation Doesn’t Have To Be Lonely: Shelter Encourages Fostering A Pet During COVID-19 Pandemic

Animal Shelter Encourages Fostering A Pet During Coronavirus Pandemic. Photo Credit: Getty

(ANIMAL RESCUE/PETS) In a grand effort to curb the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are being urged to shelter in place. But self-isolation doesn’t have to be lonely. Now is the perfect time to foster or adopt a pet.

Not only do shelters and pet adoption facilities desperately need people to foster pets amid the temporary lockdown, but people can also help rescue themselves during these crazy times.

Multiple vetted organizations have all confirmed pets are not at risk of spreading COVID-19 and studies have proven time and time again that bringing an animal into your home makes you happier and healthier.

Read on to learn more about how fostering a pet can serve as a source of comfort during crisis. — Global Animal

Animal Shelter Encourages Fostering A Pet During Coronavirus Pandemic. Photo Credit: Getty

People, Kelli Bender

Americans are being told to stay at home and avoid gatherings of people in an effort to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Social distancing is an important step to curbing the coronavirus pandemic, but you don’t have to do it totally alone.

“If you don’t have a pet and are thinking about getting one, now is the perfect time to ‘try it on’ by fostering from your local shelter. Shelters and pet adoption facilities nationwide need people to foster pets on a temporary basis,” Julie Castle the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, told PEOPLE about how they can help rescue pets and themselves during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the American Veterinary Medical Association have all stated that pets are not at risk of spreading COVID-19, and science has shown time and time again that adding an animal to your life makes your happier and healthier.

The choice to foster an animal during this time will also greatly help your local shelter, which is likely suffering from a lag in adoptions, an increase in intakes and limited resources

“Animal shelters across the country are having to deal with an increase of dogs and cats in need of homes because fewer people are visiting shelters right now, and in some cases, shelters are having to temporarily close to the public,” Castle added. “Some animal shelters are already seeing an increase in intake, and many are bracing themselves for the possibility of fewer adoptions and fewer foster homes, and are concerned about limited space.”

For those who already have pets and can’t currently take in another, the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, the largest no-kill animal welfare organization in the country, urges pet owners to show their furry friend love now more than ever.

“Best Friends hopes to assure people with pets that their relationships with their dogs and cats should remain unchanged and there is no reason to consider surrendering pets to shelters,” she said.

“It’s not only safe to keep pets in the home, but also beneficial, as they can serve as a source of comfort during a crisis,” Castle added on the perks of having a pet. “The companionship of pets has been shown to reduce stress and lower anxiety, helping people to feel calmer and more secure when the news from the outside world is distressing.”

Castle also suggests stocking up on a month-long supply of food and medication for your pet, keeping their medical records updated and on hand, washing your hands before and after handling your pet, and regularly disinfecting your pet’s products (bowls, leashes, beds, etc.) as ways to keep you and your pet safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

More People:

Animals Ready To Shamrock For St. Patty’s Day (GALLERY)

(CATS AND DOGS/CUTE ANIMAL PICTURES) Who needs a pot of gold when you have this much cuteness? Check out these photos of animals who are ready to shamrock this St. Patrick’s Day! — Global Animal

Photo Credit: Flickr, dapuglet
Photo Credit: Flickr, dapuglet


Photo Credit: Flickr, dippy duck
Photo Credit: Flickr, dippy duck


Photo Credit: Flickr, lollypopfarm
Photo Credit: Flickr, lollypopfarm


Photo Credit: Flickr, dee doucette
Photo Credit: Flickr, dee doucette


Photo Credit: Flickr, walkadog
Photo Credit: Flickr, walkadog


Photo Credit: Flickr, chidorian
Photo Credit: Flickr, chidorian


Photo Credit: Flickr, linuxlibrarian
Photo Credit: Flickr, linuxlibrarian


Photo Credit: Flickr, nataliemaynor
Photo Credit: Flickr, nataliemaynor


Photo Credit: Flickr, sis
Photo Credit: Flickr, sis


Photo Credit: Flickr, nathaninsandiego
Photo Credit: Flickr, nathaninsandiego

Canine Cabin Fever? Fun Indoor Activities To Keep Tails Wagging

Photo Credit: via Shutterstock

(DOGS) When the cold temperatures hit, the snow covers the ground, and the ice makes the sidewalks a slippery ice rink, you’ll probably want to find some fun indoor activities for your dog to engage in.

Your dog’s exercise and activity needs will largely depend on factors like his/her age, breed, overall health, and size, but it’s safe to say that your four-legged bundle of joy should get between half an hour to 120 minutes of activity each day. And when the cold weather season makes it hard to get outside regularly enough to keep you dog in tip-top shape, you’ll need to find another way.

Read on for a look at some fun indoor activities with dogs during the winter so that man’s best friend can maintain optimal health even when the temperature keeps you and your pet inside.

All dogs–no matter how big or small–need to stay mentally stimulated and physically active, regardless of the weather conditions outside. Photo Credit: via Shutterstock

Muffin Tin Game

For this fun activity, you’ll need a few items, namely a muffin tin that has six or 12 compartments, enough tennis balls to fill the compartments, and enough treats to put a small piece in each compartment.

With all three components, here’s what you’ll do: Put a tasty treat — some cheese or some meat — into the various compartments in the muffin tin, place a tennis ball over top each of the various compartments, and then place the muffin tin on the floor where it’s accessible to your dog.

Your dog will quickly figure out that there are treats to be had and they will endeavor to remove the balls to get at the treats. Every time your dog dislodges one of the balls and retrieves a treat, be sure to lay on the praise. You might need to demonstrate how the game is played by occasionally removing a ball so that your dog gets the idea.

Freeze Dog Toys with Treats

When you can combine your dog’s favorite toys with his/her favorite treats, you’ll have a winning proposition. For this fun indoor winter activity, you’ll take a toy, put some tasty treats inside, freeze the toy-treats combo, and then give it to your dog so that they can seek to extract the treats.

Regular activity is necessary for your dog’s health, so you shouldn’t let the cold weather discourage you from giving your pet the exercise he/she needs. If you keep on top of your dog’s overall health needs, you’ll increase the chances that they will enjoy a long and healthy life.

Hide & Seek

This definitely isn’t the sort of hide-and-seek you might play with your children. When playing hide and seek with your dog, you can hide dry dog treats around your home so that your pet can go searching for them.

While you want to hide them where your dog can get to them, you also want to make it a challenge to engage its interest. It’s best not to hide these treats anywhere near your sofa, coffee table, or anything else that you don’t want to see pawed and clawed.

Tug-of-war is a tried-and-true game for all dogs, whether it’s played indoors or outdoors. Photo Credit: via Shutterstock

Tug-of-War Challenge

For this fun activity that is sure to get your dog panting, all you need is an open space — such as your basement, a hallway, or even the family room — and an old towel or just about any dog toy. You’ll hold onto one end of the towel or toy and your dog will grab onto the other end with its teeth. Then, it’s a good old fashioned tug of war.

Definitely be careful not to pull hard enough since doing so can cause injury to its teeth, but you also need to remember that if you let your pet win, your dog might end up with the impression that there’s now a new alpha in the home.

— Amber Kingsley, exclusive to Global Animal

Amber Kingsley is a freelance journalist and member of a pet enthusiast/animal lover group in her city of Santa Monica who has donated countless hours supporting her local shelter within operations and outreach.

National Napping Day: Do Pets Dream?

(PETS/ANIMAL BEHAVIOR) In celebration of National Napping Day, we tackle the age-old question: do pets dream? Ask any pet guardian who’s seen a sleeping cat swat the air, or heard a dog bark while in a slumber, and you’ll be told that animals certainly do dream.

So, perhaps the question is: what do pets dream of? Wouldn’t we like to know! Does a napping cat rehash the day’s events? Or, do dogs in dreamland imagine streets lined with treats? This provocative pet question even prompted the creation of “Stu’s Song” in The Hangover, that asks, “What do tigers dream of?” We have the answers — read on to find out. — Global Animal

Video 34: CUTENESS OVERLOAD!! A dog sleeping with his KITTENS

Pet Centric

If you’ve watched your cat or dog twitching and yipping or yowling while sleeping, you’ve probably already guessed that the answer is YES! But do dogs and cats really dream – and if so, what in the world do they dream about?

Many scientists say there is evidence to support the notion that dogs, cats, and in fact, every mammal that’s been studied, does experience dreams.

There are two main types of sleep: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and slow wave sleep (SWS). SWS and REM sleep in pets are very similar to that of humans. During this time, the brain processes information learned during the day. Think of it as sorting new information into different mental file folders.

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Photo Credit:

At some point during these two kinds of sleep, dreams take over — in humans as well as in pets. Thus, the twitching, tail wagging, yipping, and pawing your dog does in his sleep, or the tail whipping, chattering, yowling and swatting from your napping cat is likely a reliving of whatever experiences he’s had while awake.

Of course, human dreams also get a lot of their material from the imagination, which makes us wonder if dogs and cats have imaginations in addition to memories! (Anyone who has witnessed their playful cat pay attention to something that’s seemingly not there, and then react to it, is likely to believe their cat must have an active imagination!) Ever heard a dog dreaming? Listen!

In humans, scientists have found that when awakened during REM sleep, the subject has reported having a dream. During the REM sleep, the human brain has a lot of “gamma activity” going on, just like it does when the person is awake. This means that essentially, the brain is behaving just as it does when conscious. Since every mammal studied shows the same brain activity during REM sleep as humans, it’s not such a leap to believe that your pet really is dreaming.

Arthur - Blue Shar Pei Puppy snoring - so cute

Ok – not every mammal studied has the same brain activity. The duck-billed platypus experiences more REM sleep than any other mammal, yet its brain activity is completely different during this time of sleep. However, this should come as no surprise from a mammal that lays eggs.

Adult dogs spend about 10 to 12 percent of their sleeping time in REM sleep. Puppies and kittens spend a much greater proportion of their sleep time in REM sleep, which makes sense since they’ve been so busy all day exploring their new world. They have tons of new data to process, sort and store into their memories.

So the next time your pet has an unusually exciting experience during the morning, pay special attention to his behavior while he naps that afternoon. You might just catch your pet reliving the past — in dreams!

More Petcentric:

China’s Coronavirus Lockdown: Rescuers Can’t Keep Up As Over 50,000 Pets Left Behind

Dogs found abandoned in a box in Wuhan, China by rescuers from Furry Angels Heaven.

(HEALTH & SAFETY) WUHAN, CHINA — As the coronavirus outbreak has only intensified, killing over 2,000 people and infecting more than 78,000 in China alone, activists are struggling to keep up with the number of animals left behind.

Since those infected with COVID-19 cannot bring their animals with them to quarantine, and despite confirmation from the World Health Organization that pets cannot contract the virus, an estimated 50,000 pets have been abandoned amid Wuhan’s lockdown.

Volunteers joined forces to handle the high volume of animals in need, but they are beginning to grow desperate as they run out of food, with many unable to go outside out of fear of getting infected.

Read on to learn more about animal rescue efforts in Wuhan, and take note that many of these animals will be available for adoption once the lockdown is over. — Global Animal

Dogs found abandoned in a box in Wuhan, China by rescuers from Furry Angels Heaven.

BBC News, Sophie Williams

Volunteers in China say they’re struggling to keep up with the number of animals being abandoned as the country battles the virus outbreak.

More than 2,000 people in China have died and more than 78,000 infections have been reported in the country.

Pet owners who fall sick or are caught up in quarantine can’t take their animals with them, and despite reassurance from the World Health Organization that animals can’t carry the virus, others are being dumped.

“I have rescued lots of dogs this month, most have been abandoned by their owners,” one volunteer from Furry Angels Heaven in Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak, told the BBC.

“One animal’s owner has coronavirus and was sent to quarantine. Fortunately a policeman sent her to me.”

The volunteer didn’t want to reveal her name because of fears of official repercussions. She said she has 35 dogs and 28 cats in her apartment in addition to the animal rescue centre she helps operate.

“It’s a bad situation here. We are not allowed to go outside and I am afraid my dogs and cats will be out of food soon. I am worried if I or my family get infected with the virus then all of the dogs and cats could be killed by policemen.”

Without income from its regular paid work at the moment, she fears the animal centre’s savings could be used up soon.

“It’s expensive to rescue these animals”, she said.

As soon as the lockdown is over, the animals will be available for adoption.

The empty streets of Wuhan during the lockdown.

The coronavirus outbreak began in late December, but it worsened as people went away for Chinese New Year in January. Many people went to visit family in other cities, leaving food behind for their pets thinking they would only be away for a few days.

But then the lockdown was introduced. More than 60 million people in Hubei province were placed under travel restrictions. People were unable to return to their homes and the food they had left for their pets had started to run out.

Panicked pet owners used social media site Weibo to plead for help.

“Help! I live in Ezhou City and my cat is trapped,” wrote one woman from a town near Wuhan.

“I’m asking a caring person nearby to help me feed the cat. I am willing to pay for it, thank the caring person and everyone else, please share.”

One volunteer, who gave his name as Lao Mao, is part of a group that provides assistance to people who cannot access their animals. So far his group has helped to rescue more than 1,000 pets.

Video footage posted on social media accounts show Lao Mao’s team entering properties, feeding animals and providing them with medical care.

“There are more animals needing help these days,” he told the BBC.

He said that the situation now for animals is “very dangerous”.

“So many of them have starved to death, only a few of them can reach me for help. There’s nothing much I can do but I will save as many as I can.”

It’s not just animal rescuers in Wuhan that are feeling the strain. Animal groups across China told the BBC that they were struggling to deal with the current situation and strict quarantine measures.

Animal Rescue Shanghai told the BBC that the situation is a “nightmare”.

“It is high season during Chinese New Year which means a lot of dogs are kicked out and due to coronavirus, a lot of flights have been cancelled. We now have over 350 dogs for a place sized for 120,” said, Nana, who works at the shelter. We are really desperate.”

An experienced rescuer in Shenzhen who did not want to give her name also said Chinese New Year was a busy time of year for animal abandonments, but that she has never encountered one every single day.

A policeman in Wuhan catches a dog on Feb. 29.

“Businesses are closed so there is no-one to feed the strays. It started being very common to see roaming cats and dogs and hear them fighting and barking and meowing much more than usual.”

She said at one point, she saw a partially eaten mother dog with her puppies still around her.

But she said that as the situation has intensified, volunteers have joined forces like never before to handle the amount of animals in need.

“Community support has been really heart-warming, many people help, volunteer, support and share or decide to adopt or foster.

“Both Chinese people and foreigners have united to help each other help animals.”

More BBC:

Go Wild For World Wildlife Day!

A third tiger was found dead at the Corbett Tiger Reserve in just one week. Photo Credit: Rough Guides

(WILDLIFE CONSERVATION/PICTURES) March 3 is World Wildlife Day, a day to celebrate and appreciate all that Mother Nature has to offer, from plants to wild animals.

On December 20, 2013, the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General assembly proclaimed March 3—the day the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted—as World Wildlife Day.

World Wildlife Day is dedicated to the following:

  • Celebrate the beautiful varied forms of fauna and flora
  • Recall the privileged interactions between wildlife and populations across the globe
  • Raise awareness for the fight against wildlife crime

World Wildlife Day reminds us that wildlife holds an inherent value. So why not take a moment to celebrate wildlife everyday?

Check out the beautiful gallery below and marvel at some of Mother Nature’s greatness.

quaggas, endangered species list, extinct animals
Panda, Baby Pandas, Panda Cubs, Panda Facts, Animal Facts, Cute Animal Pictures, Bamboo
koala, koala bear, animals, australia
Worldwide, there are only about 60 shark attacks on people each year. Photo credit:
Sloths, fun facts, animal facts, cute pictures, sloth pictures

Learn more about World Wildlife Day at

— Cara Meyers, exclusive to Global Animal

Polar Bear Day: Everyday Ways To Save The Polar Bear

Polar bears continue to feel the effect of multiple pressures on their environment. Photo Credit: WWF

(ENDANGERED SPECIES/POLAR BEARS) What better time to help save the polar bear than today, International Polar Bear Day?

With less than 25,000 left in the wild, polar bears are on the brink of extinction due to the devastating effects of global warming. In Canada—which unfortunately still allows polar bear trophy hunts despite their endangered status—a polar bear was forced to swim 426 miles in search of arctic sea ice; ice that continues to hit record lows.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can help save the polar bear from extinction—from riding a bike to shopping locally.

So in the spirit International Polar Bear Day, check out these some simple ways to help save the polar bear. — Global Animal

Polar bears continue to feel the effect of multiple pressures on their environment. Photo Credit: WWF
Polar bear populations have witnessed a 30 percent drop in the past 45 years. Photo Credit: WWF

Tips from Scientists to Help Polar Bears from Polar Bears International:

Social Interactions

  • Vote for political representatives who recognize that our carbon-based society isn’t sustainable and who will work to establish an appropriate price for carbon
  • Interpret the facts about global warming to your friends and relatives
  • Encourage members of your social circles to adopt sustainable lifestyles—and lead by example
  • To help create a stewardship ethic in your community and raise awareness of how lifestyle changes can make a difference, take part in local green initiatives like planting trees, recycling drives, or ride-your-bike to work days—or start your own.


  • Walk or ride a bike
  • Use public transportation
  • Drive the most fuel-efficient vehicle for your needed task and drive at the most efficient speed for your vehicle
  • Avoid drive-through businesses; don’t idle for more than 30 seconds
  • Keep your car tuned up and maintain proper tire inflation
Siku, the 3-month old polar bear cub melts hearts to save ice. Photo Credit:
Siku, the 3-month old polar bear cub melts hearts to save ice. Photo Credit:

Home & Work

  • Insulate buildings and heat/cool with efficient systems (e.g., rated by Energy Star)
  • Generate your own power with wind and solar
  • Let your utility company know that you want to subscribe to green power
  • Use energy-efficient (e.g. Energy Star) appliances and equipment. Turn appliances off when not in use. Use low-tech methods when possible (e.g., line-dry clothes)
  • Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent or other energy-efficient bulbs (see Energy Star)
  • Use no more water than needed

Dining Table

  • Buy and cook only what you’ll eat. Don’t waste food.
  • Consume foods that are minimally processed and packaged (e.g., potatoes vs. potato chips)
  • Purchase fruits and vegetables grown locally and organically on small-scale farms
  • Avoid products that result from tropical deforestation (e.g., palm oil, coffee that isn’t shade-grown, South American beef)
  • Consume less meat. Eat at least three meatless meals per week.
  • Consume products like pasture-fed beef, free-range poultry, and wild salmon rather than CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations) meats—and buy these from local farmers or fishermen when you can


  • Minimize consumption: reduce, reuse, and recycle
  • Research vendors and buy from those with sustainable business models
  • Avoid products with excess packaging
  • Buy products created closer to home: for example, if you live in the U.S. or Canada, purchase goods made in North America instead of those shipped from far away.

More Polar Bears International:

It Hurts To Say Goodbye: Grieving The Loss Of A Pet

Photo Credit: pololia /

(ANIMAL CONNECTION) Coping with the death of a loved one is one of the most painful experiences a person can endure. Here are some kind words and advice for getting through this time of bereavement. — Global Animal

Photo Credit: pololia /

The Humane Society of the United States

When a person you love dies, it’s natural to feel sorrow, express grief, and expect friends and family to provide understanding and comfort.

Unfortunately, the same doesn’t always hold true if the one who died was your companion animal. Many consider grieving inappropriate for someone who has lost “just a pet.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Members of the family

People love their pets and consider them members of their family. Caregivers celebrate their pets’ birthdays, confide in their animals, and carry pictures of them in their wallets. So when your beloved pet dies, it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your sorrow.

Animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love during the time they share with you. If you understand and accept this bond between humans and animals, you’ve already taken the first step toward coping with pet loss: knowing that it is okay to grieve when your pet dies.

Understanding how you grieve and finding ways to cope with your loss can bring you closer to the day when memories bring smiles instead of tears.

What is the grief process?

The grief process is as individual as the person, lasting days for one person or years for another. The process typically begins with denial, which offers protection until individuals can realize their loss.

Some caregivers may try bargaining with a higher power, themselves, or even their pet to restore life. Some feel anger, which may be directed at anyone involved with the pet, including family, friends, and veterinarians. Caregivers may also feel guilt about what they did or did not do, and may feel that it is inappropriate to be so upset.

After these feelings subside, caregivers may experience true sadness or grief. They may become withdrawn or depressed. Acceptance occurs when they accept the reality of their loss and remember their animal companion with decreasing sadness.

Coping with grief

While grief is a personal experience, you need not face loss alone. Many forms of support are available, including pet bereavement counseling services, pet-loss support hotlines, local or online Internet bereavement groups, books, videos, and magazine articles.

Here are a few suggestions to help you cope:

  • Acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to express it.
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out to others who can lend a sympathetic ear. The Delta Society offers a list of pet loss hotlines for those grieving over the death of a pet.
  • Write about your feelings, either in a journal or a poem.
  • Call your local humane society to see whether it offers a pet loss support group or can refer you to one.
  • Prepare a memorial for your pet.

You may also want to ask your veterinarian or local animal shelter about available pet loss hotlines. Explore the Internet for pet loss support groups and coping information.

For children

The loss of a pet may be a child’s first experience with death. The child may blame himself, his parents, or the veterinarian for not saving the pet. And he may feel guilty, depressed, and frightened that others he loves may be taken from him.
Trying to protect your child by saying the pet ran away could cause your child to expect the pet’s return and feel betrayed after discovering the truth. Expressing your own grief may reassure your child that sadness is ok and help him work through his feelings.

For seniors

Coping with the loss of a pet can be particularly hard for seniors. Those who live alone may feel a loss of purpose and an immense emptiness. The pet’s death may also trigger painful memories of other losses and remind caregivers of their own mortality. What’s more, the decision to get another pet is complicated by the possibility that the pet may outlive the caregiver, and hinges on the person’s physical and financial ability to care for a new pet.

For all these reasons, it’s critical that senior pet owners take immediate steps to cope with their loss and regain a sense of purpose. If you are a senior, try interacting with friends and family, calling a pet loss support hotline, even volunteering at a local humane society. If you know seniors in this situation, direct them to this page, and guide them through the difficult grieving process.

For other pets

Surviving pets may whimper, refuse to eat or drink, and suffer lethargy, especially if they had a close bond with the deceased pet. Even if they were not the best of friends, the changing circumstances and your emotional state may distress them. However, if your remaining pet/s continue to act out of sorts, there could actually be a medical problem that requires your veterinarian’s attention.

Give surviving pets lots of TLC, and try to maintain a normal routine. It’s good for them and for you.

Getting another pet

Rushing into this decision isn’t fair to you or your new pet. Each animal has his own unique personality and a new animal cannot replace the one you lost. You’ll know when the time is right to adopt a new pet after giving yourself time to grieve, carefully considering the responsibilities of pet ownership, and paying close attention to your feelings.

When you’re ready, remember that your local animal shelter is a great place to find your next special friend.

More Resources on Coping With the Loss of a Pet:

Coronavirus Leaves Thousands Of Pets Abandoned & Starving To Death

The World Health Organisation has refuted 'rumours' that dogs and cats can catch the coronavirus

(HEALTH & ANIMAL SAFETY) CHINA — Campaigners in areas hit by the deadly coronavirus are calling for the cull of street and domestic dogs and cats after rumors spread that they can also be infected with the illness.

While an estimated five million people reportedly fled the city of Wuhan ahead of the Chinese New Year, it’s estimated at least 50,000 pets have been left behind and are now at risk of starving to death.

As the World Health Organization confirmed there’s no evidence that pet dogs or cats can be infected with the coronavirus, a number of animal welfare advocates are working to relay this information to the public and rescue abandoned animals.

Continue reading below to learn more about these dire rescue efforts. — Global Animal

The World Health Organisation has refuted ‘rumours’ that dogs and cats can catch the coronavirus

Sky News, Clare Sibthorpe

Thousands of pets trapped in the epicentre of China’s deadly coronavirus outbreak are at risk of starving to death, according to animal rescuers and activists.

The warning comes as campaigners claim local governments have called for pet dogs and cats to be culled, due to discredited concerns they can be infected with the illness that began in the Hubei province city of Wuhan.

Wuhan’s mayor, Zhou Xianwang, recently told a news conference five million people had left his city ahead of the Chinese New Year.

Based on this figure, one man on the frontline of the rescue effort to save abandoned animals has estimated up to 50,000 pets have been left in Wuhan homes.

“My conservative estimate is that around 5,000 are still trapped, and they may die of starvation in the coming days,” said Lao Mao, not his real name.

“The volunteers on our team, me included, have saved more than 1,000 pets since 25 January”.

Mr Mao told reporters how he broke into one home – at the request of its owners – to feed two starving cats that had been trapped inside for 10 days.

The owners, who had left Wuhan for a three-day holiday but could not get back into the city due to travel restrictions, reportedly cried with relief over news their pets were safe.

Sky News understands Mr Mao chose not to reveal his real name as his family did not know he was “out and about” in the city.

Coronavirus has caused 425 deaths in China and there have been more than 20,000 confirmed cases of the illness which stemmed from a wildlife market.

Outside China, one person has died – in the Philippines – and there were at least 171 confirmed cases in 24 countries and regions.

Animal activists say thousands of abandoned pets are at risk of starvation

The Humane Society International told Sky News it suspects the number of pets at risk of starvation in Wuhan is higher than Mr Mao’s estimate.

HSI spokeswoman Wendy Higgins said the organisation was also concerned about reports that local governments are ordering the culling of street and domestic dogs and cats.

Ms Higgins said these reports were coming from animal welfare groups on the ground in areas including Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Wuhan, Shanxi and Shanghai.

“We are in regular contact with a network of about 35 or so animal groups through the Chinese social media channel Weibo, and we usually set the net wide, so it’s not a selective small area that’s relaying these reports,” Ms Higgins said.

“If the local authorities decide that dogs per say are a threat, I would be concerned for the welfare of both street dogs and home dogs.”

She said there had been no reports of actual culling, but that it would not be uncommon for China to take the “knee jerk response” of killing dogs “for very little provocation” for the assumed purpose of public safety.

The World Health Organisation has confirmed there is no evidence that pet dogs or cats can be infected with the virus.

Ms Higgins said animal welfare advocates in China are working to relay this information to the public and to rescue abandoned pets.

More Sky News: