Volunteers from Wuhan Rescued More Than 200 Pets That Have Been Left Alone After City Lockdown

Every act has its consequences. Batman‘s refusal to kill Joker, for instance, paves the way for dozens more unnecessary deaths.

My friend Dogeza98XX’s tendency to stuff pineapple tarts down his throat by the dozens resulted in a rather substantial, though expected, increase in ‘muscle size’.

And the lockdown of Wuhan, a city that’s home to 11 million residents, meant two things as well: the refusal of entry to families who didn’t reach home in time… and the pets that languish at home, awaiting their return.

A return which might materialise only after the pets’ demise.

And so, it’s heartening to know that even at this time of crisis, there exist kind-hearted people who’ll brave the toxicity of the city to save all the helpless little critters who need help. The Wuhan Virus might’ve stolen the lives of many…

But it also highlighted the kindness that exists in people.

Unsung Heroes

According to China Daily, an animal protection organisation in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei province, has saved the lives of more than 200 animals that were left at home during Spring Festival; the owners failed to return home before the city’s lockdown on 23 Jan, and their pets were left in a helpless state.

“If we don’t offer help, the dogs and cats would have decomposed at home before their owners got home,” Du Fan, president of the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association, reportedly told Red Star News.

“It’s our responsibility to help the animals.”

Wuhan, a city that’s estimated to have at least 600,000 to 800,000 pet cats and dogs, has seen more than 700 families request the association for assistance.

Workers and volunteers will take videos or initiate a video chat with the owners when they open the doors and feed the animals. Should there not be much food left at home, the association proceeds to offer free food, though an owner’s required to pay for unlocking a door if keys or passwords are not provided.

Some residential communities (especially those where coronavirus patients have been found), however, have prohibited volunteers from entering, namely out of fear of the novel coronavirus. While Du understands the reason behind the refusal, he expressed sympathy for the pets involved.

“We understand why they rejected us,” Du said. “But we feel sad and helpless.”

Social Media

On Monday (3 Feb), the hashtag “save the pets left behind in Wuhan” became the third-most searched term on Weibo, garnering millions of views from those unable to return to the city and others willing to help.

More than 2000 people also joined a group formed by the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association on Chinese chat app QQ, to seek “kind-hearted people” willing to feed pets left behind in Wuhan.

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One member, in particular, asked if anybody would be willing to feed a pet snake.

“I’m worried to death” the user, who posted anonymously, said. “I didn’t let him hibernate this winter because he’s a baby snake.”

The post, however, had no takers as of late Monday.

The drive to rescue pets comes after numerous Chinese media reports said “apartment complexes had banned pets to stop the spread of the virus”, as well as “unverified reports that people had thrown animals to their deaths for similar reasons”.

According to the World Health Organisation, there’s “no evidence that dogs, cats and other pets can catch the novel coronavirus”.

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Heartening News

As China continues its fight against the Coronavirus Outbreak (the city of Wenzhou was placed under a similar lockdown to Wuhan on Sunday (2 Feb 2019)), it’s heartening to see that there remains a cause for positivism.

We hope that the situation in China will improve and that death tolls will be kept to a minimum as the country faces its greatest threat in years.


You can do it, China!

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