Pets provide companionship during COVID-19 pandemic
Special to Leader-Press
Grumpy, an eight-year-old bulldog, lays in his cage, showing the white of his eyes and his sadness as people walk him in the Copperas Cove Animal Control Facility. He longs for some affection and a home to call his own. Grumpy is one of dozens of cats and dogs at the shelter who are able to provide companionship during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The World Health Organization currently advises that there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. The World Animal Health Organization states there is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this disease or that they become sick. The CDC also seconds that opinion, stating that, “At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19.”
Preteen Miss Five Hills Kaydence Roberts scratched Charlie, a one-year-old male orange tabby cat, on the head as she removed him from his cage to hold and pet him. Roberts is allergic to pet hair and will break out in hives from her volunteer service at the animal shelter. But, she cannot get the Coronavirus from her visit with the animals.
“I truly love animals. Even though I am allergic to them, that doesn’t stop me from loving them and wanting them to have a happy life,” Roberts said. “I cannot save all the animals, but I certainly can do everything in my power to save some of them.”
Roberts along with Junior Miss Five Hills Hayley Sawyer and Young Miss Five Hills Angelica Torres spent some of their time during the school closure assisting with the free adoption event at the shelter.
“During the summer and on all school breaks, I volunteer at the monthly free animal adoption days,” Roberts said. “I wash the dogs, clean cages, wash towels, and present the dogs and cats to potential owners. I am filthy from head to toe. I am wet and I am stinky by the end of the day. But, it is all worth it to see a dog or cat find a good home.”
It is possible that a person with COVID-19 could sneeze or otherwise contaminate his pet, and then another individual could touch that animal and contract the disease. Veterinary experts believe the risk for transmission would be extremely low. COVID-19 survives longer on hard, inanimate surfaces such as glass and metal than on soft surfaces like pet fur or cardboard. Nevertheless, animals living with sick individuals should be kept away from other people quarantined at home, just as people who live with sick individuals must avoid contact with others. Ultimately, pets cannot contract COVID-19.
“If each of us does our part, we can reduce and hopefully one day eliminate the number of animals being impounded by the shelter and the euthanization of these animals,” Roberts said. “Even if you are not looking for a new pet, the animals love to just be visited, petted and loved. And, don’t we all love that?”
The Copperas Cove Animal Control Facility is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays. Those looking to adopt a pet should allow at least 30 minutes to visit, view the animals and get acquainted with those that are available for adoption. Families are encouraged to bring their children and the entire family to make sure everyone gets along. If you do not find the animal you are looking for during your visit, let front desk receptionist know so the shelter can contact you if the animal you are seeking becomes available. The shelter is always in need of the following donations.
• Dawn dish soap
• Kitten food (dry)
• Puppy food (dry)
• paper towels
• Baby soap
• Laundry soap (liquid)
• Animal dewormer
• Soft treats
• New animal toys
• Puppy shots
• Kitten shots
• Flea treatments