Chennai

COVID-19: Pet boarding facilities in Chennai step in to care for animals

Dog House, a pet boarding facility is offering crisis boarding

Dog House, a pet boarding facility is offering crisis boarding   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

What happens to pets when a family tests positive for COVID-19?

With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing in the city, animal lovers and pet-boarding facilities are now stepping in to ensure that pets aren’t neglected in the time of this crisis.

Keerthi Priyadarshani, who runs Dog House, a pet boarding facility in Chennai, said that pet parents should be prepared in case a scenario arises where the family tests positive for COVID-19. “If the family feels that they are at risk of contracting COVID-19 or are going to go in for a test, they should contact a trustworthy friend or relative and leave the dog with them instead of waiting till they test positive and not knowing what to do when they get hospitalised,” she said.

Dog House is offering crisis boarding for pets from homes where the family has tested positive for COVID-19, provided a healthy relative or friend has given the dog a bath. “The friend or relative who takes in the pet should give the dog a bath and dispose of the collar or leash which has been in use. We can then pick up the pets and board them with us till the family recovers.”

Pet boarding facilities in the city are generally sought out by pet parents in the city when they are travelling or away from their homes and need to house their pets somewhere safe. Depending on their size and the number of pets they can take in, these facilities have trainers and doctors on call.

Shravan Krishnan, co-founder, Hotel for Dogs said that a few weeks back a family reached out to them after there were two deaths due to COVID-19. “They wanted us to take in their pet Labrador and he boarded with us for a few weeks. The dog is now back with the family,” he said.

While families manage to reach out to boarding facilities or friends who are ready to take in the dogs, this doesn’t happen every time. Mr. Shravan recalled another instance where a great Dane was left at home after all the family members tested positive. “The pet was left in the care of their neighbours but being an aggressive animal, the neighbours couldn’t manage it. The dog also had a wound on its leg which became infected without proper care,” he said. The pet was later taken to the Besant Memorial Animal Dispensary where it was treated and is currently being housed.

Mr. Shravan and his team are ready to pick up pets from houses and have strict safety protocols in place including wearing all necessary safety gear, he said.

“With cases on the rise, the Chennai Corporation and Health Department too, can reach out to pet boarding facilities or animal welfare organisations in case a family is suddenly hospitalised. Pets are not carriers and shouldn’t be neglected or left on their own,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 7:35:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/covid-19-pet-boarding-facilities-in-chennai-step-in-to-care-for-animals/article31889842.ece

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