The World Today for July 07, 2021
NEED TO KNOW
Cats and Dogs
The experiences of our cats and dogs are windows into how humans suffered and endured during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cats had taken over an island near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after their owners abandoned them due to coronavirus-related deaths or impoverishment, the Washington Post reported. Local officials are trying to figure out what to do with all the felines, who exist meagerly without a reliable freshwater source, yet have produced generations of feral offspring.
In India, shelters have reported a massive number of calls from people looking to find new homes for animals whose owners have died or are recovering and can’t care for their furry friends, wrote the Hindustan Times. The process of finding them new homes is traumatic for the owners and the animals, who must adapt to shelters and new owners as they’re processing their separation from their old homes.
For street animals, the situation is even more complicated. In a city like Istanbul, Turkey, whereas many as an estimated 600,000 stray cats and dogs live, the disappearance of tourists has been a disaster, explained National Geographic. Without garbage, handouts and other opportunities to scavenge, they go hungry.
As some people were throwing their animals away and some animals were eagerly awaiting the return of people, others were clamoring for so-called “pandemic pets” to help them weather hour after hour of tedious lockdowns in their homes. A Canadian writer living in Britain discovered that while she couldn’t fly home, she could import a corgi that a package handler could bring to her, for instance.
“Yes, it was possible to send a puppy across international borders, in the cargo hold of one of a now sparse number of transatlantic flights during a global pandemic that had restricted human movement,” she wrote in Fortune.
As the New York Times added, a cynically expected surge in animals being returned to shelters as the pandemic waned has so far not occurred, suggesting people would keep their new four-legged family members in times both good and bad. Veterinarians who spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer said they were exhausted because, to them, it felt like the pet population has doubled in the US.
Unfortunately, if the coronavirus resurges around the world, these new owners and their pets might need to self-isolate from each other. As the Guardian noted, experts are suggesting that owners avoid their pets if they are infected with the coronavirus if they want to avoid spreading it to their animals.
The cats on the island might be the lucky ones.
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