JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Since a tiger in New York was diagnosed with the coronavirus, veterinarians and animal care workers have been encouraging people not to take their pets to animal shelters.
Experts say you may be more of a danger to your pet than they are to you.
The last updated number of diagnosed companion animals in the world with coronavirus, not including a tiger in New York, is four.
Dr. Bob Watson of Brookhaven Animal Hospital says two dogs and two cats worldwide is the last count.
“Bear in mind that of 1.4 million cases of CoViD-19 in people, that’s such a very, very, very, small, almost nonexistent number, but yes, that’s currently the data I have,” Watson said.
The risk actually lies in you, Watson said.
While it’s a very, very small chance your pet could get CoViD-19, if there’s social distancing to be had, it’s you from them.
“Currently that hasn’t happened in the United States, but it’s possible, so what we expect is for you, if at all possible, to socially distance yourself from your animal if you’re positive,” Watson said.
There are strains of coronavirus that can affect dogs and cats, Watson said. A quick internet search will turn that up.
“Cats and dogs get their own coronaviruses,” Watson said. “So when people Google cat and dog coronavirus, they may find something. But it’s not CoViD-19.”
At Brookhaven Animal Rescue League, the shelter is shut down against the coronavirus so volunteers can shelter in place as much as possible.
BARL President Rusty Adcock said now more than ever, people should have their animals with them.
“That’s what the companion animals are there for is to kinda take that anxiety away, so you’ve got to cling to them. There’s no scientific reason not to,” said Adcock.
“At this point in time there is currently no recognized risk of having a pet and your pet transmitting this virus to you,” said Watson.
So curl up on the couch with Fido. There’s no scientific reason not to!