The animal lover group offers its paid services to people with coronavirus who cannot care for their pets.
Have you thought about what would happen to your pet if you tested positive for coronavirus? Would your family or friends be willing to take care of your pet if you had to be away? Well you might not have thought of it, but a team of animal lovers in Hyderabad did think about it and came up with an option to take care of these animals.
Panneeru Teja, an animal rights activist who runs Scoobies Pet Services, is the one who offered the services and a team of five is helping him.
The services come at a time when fear of COVID-19 has resulted in the abandonment of several pets. Campaigners say the number of abandoned animals has doubled since the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking to TNM, Teja said, “We didn’t want owners to abandon the dogs in case they caught COVID-19. If they have to go to the hospital for treatment or need to be isolated at home, in most cases there is no one to look after the animals, so we decided to offer this service. We use all safety precautions like gloves, disinfectants, etc. when we go to pick up pets. In the case of a dog, the owner, who may be in quarantine or in isolation at home, is asked to tie the dog up outside his home. We disinfect the chain and bring the dog to our kennel. We then give the dog a medicated bath.
It’s been a week since Teja and her team started this service. So far, they have received two calls for help. “We have taken care of two dogs in the last week. One of the calls we received was from Bachupally. An elderly woman had tested positive and was taken to hospital. His company informed his relatives and they called us to help take care of his dog. We brought the pet, a Pomeranian, to our kennel. When an owner tests positive or is isolated at home, it negatively affects pets because the environment at home becomes very dark, ”he says.
“We have a pet boarding house in Cherlappally in the city. We can accommodate around 22 dogs. We also have a separate facility for cats. We charge Rs 500 per day for large breeds and Rs 400 per day for small breeds. We provide food, board and all the care the animals need. If pet owners are unable to leave and would like their pet to be dropped off with a friend or relative, we also offer this service, ”explains Teja.
Activists in the city say they have received several SOS calls from pet owners since the start of the pandemic.
Sai Pravallika Nagam, an animal rights activist, told TNM: “Many have the misconception that keeping pets is dangerous because of COVID-19. Due to this misconception, in many apartments, gated communities, and corporations, pet owners are asked not to keep pets in the home. I have received about 20 calls asking for help since the start of the pandemic. Where will these pet owners go with their pets if such warnings and advice are given? Recently, a pet owner living in an apartment in Kushaiguda received a notice from his building association. We contacted the Kushaiguda police and they helped advise members of the association. The police were very supportive. Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat was extremely helpful.
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