As the nation’s capital grapples with an unprecedented rise in Covid-19 cases amid Wave Four, many individuals and families are turning to boarding houses for their pets. Pet boarding owners across the city have said there has been a significant increase in the number of pet hosting requests.
Kuldeep Chauhan, owner of Pet Lovers Hut – Dog Boarding Center, said his facility receives requests from people with Covid-19 or unable to meet the animal’s requirements due to restrictions. “At this time of year, people leave their pets behind when they go on vacation. This time people are not going anywhere but our facility is full due to requests from individuals and families affected by Covid. There are cases where owners have died from Covid and their dogs are left with us, ”Chauhan said. He said the number of claims flowing in due to the pandemic is higher this time around. “Last year we didn’t have that many dogs. This time there is a clear difference.
Arun Shivakumar, who runs Asha Arun’s pet boarding house, said the facility has been receiving more and more requests from families affected by Covid since last month. “We receive at least ten calls a day from people struggling with Covid-19. Last year we had no requests for covid patients in April-May, ”said Shivakumar.
He said he has also received requests from people who want to give up their dogs for adoption because they cannot care for them due to Covid-19. “My wife and I have held counseling sessions with these pet parents to make them understand that Covid is temporary,” Shivakumar said.
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Nandita Sikka, CEO of Heal Your Paws, a facility located at Sainik Farms, also echoed similar sentiments. “I get a lot of requests from people who cannot come out of their homes and walk their dogs due to issues related to Covid-19. We take care of dogs whose owners test positive for Covid or are busy with Covid-related tasks, ”Sikka said.
In view of the prevailing situation, the council’s facility owners have also taken additional precautionary measures. Sikka said facility staff have been tested for Covid and are taking additional disinfection measures. Other establishments have introduced compulsory disinfection of domestic animals.
“We have introduced some changes in the processes we undertake when admitting a new member to the boarding school. We have created a designated area at the entrance to the facility where owners are welcome to tie up the dog. Then our keeper gives the dog a bath, after which he can enter the kennel. We have no interaction with animal parents in the current situation, ”said Chauhan.
He said that while most people are outspoken and let the facility know if Covid is the reason for the boarding request, some people are withholding information. “At least three families have not informed us that they have the Covid. To avoid such incidents, we have introduced an extra layer of disinfection process at the entrance, ”said Chauhan.