In a fake rumor which spread quickly on China television and social media on early this week that “cats and dogs can spread the coronavirus,” bloodied bodies of animals were seen lying in the roadways and on sidewalks in Tianjin City in Hebel Province – the epicenter of the Wuhan virus outspread.
According to The Sun, five cats had been thrown to their deaths – pets that had been well groomed and apparently healthy. Another report described a small dog thrown from a fourth story apartment which landed on the top of a car.
And how did this horrible bogus rumor start? Dr. LiLanjuan stated on television that if pets came into contact with suspected victims, they should be quarantined. Not soon after, a local media reporter posted:
“cats and dogs can spread the coronavirus.”
And on Weibo, the popular China version of Twitter, the fake rumor spread and became the torturous end of life for dozens of healthy pets.
Finally on Wednesday, Global Television Network posted a quote from the World Health Organization:
“There is no evidence showing that pets such as cats and dogs can contract the novel coronavirus.”
Animal advocacy groups joined in the truth-bearing information hoping that officials would find some of the pet owners who indiscriminately threw their pets to their death based on a social media tweet without ever researching the source.
Since then, masks for dogs and cats have been gaining popularity.
Perhaps one of the more recurring themes in China has been to educate people about the filthy factory farms, the slaughterhouses and the meat markets that spread disease and vermin.
The virus had infected more than 11,800 people including 259 deaths. Seven cases have been reported in the United States.
(Photo screenshot via Asia Wire)