Protecting cats and dogs in China amid the coronavirus outbreak
We moved fast to stop the spread of misinformation and protect pets from cruelty caused by fear during the coronavirus outbreak.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, many dog and cat owners have been concerned for their pets' safety.
Can cats and dogs contract the coronavirus? Can they transmit it to humans?
There is no evidence that dogs or cats can transmit COVID-19 to people or get sick from it. There has been no case in the world of COVID-19 transmitting from a cat or dog to humans.
But as fears began to spread across China, where COVID-19 started, some news reports mentioned that cats and dogs were being killed out of fear.
Our team in China responded quickly and launched a campaign to stop the spread of misinformation and protect pets from baseless cruelty.
How our campaign helped pets in China
We mobilized a public campaign in coronavirus hotspots. An online advertising blitz spread the message that there is no need to kill pets in response to coronavirus, and asked everyone to sign the pledge to protect pets during the outbreak.
So far, over 500,000 people have signed the pledge and committed to treating community animals with respect. With each person that signed and shared, we were able to reach even more people across China with our important message – there is no reason to kill or abandon pets during the outbreak.
Getting the message out to the masses
Our incredible team in China moved over 800,000 people to share news articles and messages about responsible pet ownership on WeChat and Weibo, the most popular social media sites in China.
On Wednesday, 29 January, the World Health Organization spoke out, saying:
"At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus."
Both statements above were spread widely and have helped reduce panic among local citizens.
Thanks to the ongoing support we receive from people like you, we are able to act quickly to launch this campaign to protect pets when they needed us most. But our work isn’t over.
Our China team is also planning offline events to be held when the pandemic is over and our campaign work to protect animals in communities will continue.
Worldwide, we’re reaching out to our partners on the ground to ensure that no animal becomes the victim of this pandemic. Watch this space for more updates.
Donate to support our work
Every animal deserves a life worth living. Make a donation today to protect animals from being needlessly killed due to a fear of COVID-19.