Pets should also be social distancing, veterinarian says


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – At New York City’s Bronx zoo, a tiger tested positive for coronavirus and it has people with pets concerned.

Veterinarian, Dr. Cheryl Waterhouse says there are unanswered questions and it’s too early to say if animals can actually transfer COVID-19 to humans.

“I would like to reassure people though that we really don’t believe that dogs and cats can have the virus replicated and for it to be able to go back to humans.  Of course any object, whether it’s a newspaper or a book or a cable or anything else — anything that an infected person touches and another person also touches it could be transferred that way.”

Washing your hands and social distancing should be practiced with your pets too. 

President of Fresno Humane Animal Services says to treat your pet like family.

“You also want to treat your pets just like you would any other family member and keep your distance from them — so refrain from snuggling and kissing and loving on them if you’re not feeling well and making sure that they’re kept safe as well as any other family member.  That’s going to be really important,” said Brenda Mitchell, President of Fresno Humane Animal Services.

Mitchell says it’s also a really great time to adopt or foster and keep shelters from overcrowding and safe.  With COVID-19 changing the norm, there are new ways to acquire a pet completely online and have one delivered.

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