As the virus spreads unabated, while worrying about avoiding infection, the parents of furry children may also wonder what will happen to their precious furry children if they happen to contract COVID-19 and must undergo hospital isolation.
To reduce city residents' worries and support animal welfare, in reference to the plan recommended by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, Council of Agriculture, Taichung City has begun providing the following dog and cat care plan for persons notified by the Health Department that they are positive for COVID-19 and must undergo hospital isolation:
- Since leaving their everyday living environment may cause pets stress, if the owner has any friends or family members who can help care for them, the family members or friends can enter the vacant house to feed the animals. If the friend or family member wishes to take the animal home, they may notify the Health Inspection Office to assist with disinfection and transport.
- When there is no friend or family member to provide care, the Health Inspection Office will contact a willing animal hospital to provide hospital isolation, and hospitalization expenses should be paid by the owner based on the care fee standards of the Taichung Veterinary Medical Association, and any necessary veterinary expenses shall be calculated separately.
- The Health Inspection Office shall establish a temporary isolated care facility to assist with placement, and the cost of care per animal shall be NT$200 per day for animal feed.
The Health Inspection Office reminds residents who keep pets during the pandemic period to maintain good regular sanitation habits and take appropriate preventive measures when caring for their pets, such as by wearing a face mask and gloves, maintaining an appropriate distance, washing hands thoroughly before and after caring for animals and handling their foods, and maintaining a clean and sanitary home environment. And apart from wearing a face mask when walking dogs, dogs should be kept on a leash and should maintain safe social distancing. In addition, you should avoid contact with pets if you feel unwell.
According to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), there is currently no evidence indicating dogs and cats can be infected with COVID-19 and then re-infect humans. If you find that your pets have a health problem, please contact your family veterinarian, but do not abandon your dog or cat out of panic; in accordance with the Animal Protection Act, those who willfully abandon their pets may be fined up to a maximum of NT$150,000.