As the COVID-19 outbreak has created waves of panic across the world, people believe that their pets or animals could also contract the virus. . 

Source: NY Times

Even though WHO has busted this myth and confirmed that animals especially dogs or cats cannot contract the virus, amidst the panic, India has seen a hike in the cases of animal cruelty. Especially people abandoning their pets because of the scare. 

With the circulation of fake news, this pandemic has managed to make even the 'animal lovers' bitter towards their own pets and strays. 

Source: Quartz

Various cases of people abandoning their pets due to the circulation of fake news has made headlines. One such incident was with a family living in Airoli, Mumbai. They were forced by their society residents to abandon their pet dog if they wanted to live peacefully. Vijay Rangare, an animal rights activist further mentions: 

Today, I was told about a family in Airoli whose electricity supply was cut off when they refused to leave their dog on the street. When they approached the police, the cops said the family will have to abide by the society's laws. 
Source: SosVox

While various actions were taken by the Animal Welfare Board of India against the violation of animal rights, people are still choosing to believe the fake news.

The pandemic has generated hostility against stray dogs and cats. Despite WHO busting the myth around dogs and corona, across the country, residents are still shaming and harassing their neighbors for feeding their docile and adorable colony dogs, who have literally grown old sitting by the blocks. 

Source: Outlook

There is nothing wrong with feeding stray dogs, cats or birds. They are NOT carriers of the deadly virus. Don't let this pandemic affect the goodwill with which way you usually the strays around you. The strays need your unconditional love now, more than ever. 

Source: ScoopWhoop

Just think about it, amidst the lockdown while we all are hibernating and comfortably snuggling in our bed, the stray dogs and cats who are dependent on markets, restaurants and local residents to feed them on a daily basis are affected the most. 

Source: The Asian Age

And with Coronavirus shutting most of the public establishments, mixed with the beginning of summers and people still choosing to believe that animals are carriers of the pandemic, strays will have a hard time finding food for themselves. 

Source: The Hindu

To ensure the well-being of these strays amidst the lockdown, The Animal Welfare Board of India has issued a nation-wide advisory to all the Chief Secretaries of the states and Union Territories to spread awareness campaigns. 

Further urging people to feed animals around them, the animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi took to Twitter to bust these myths. 

Spreading awareness about this issue, she gave out a contact number which could be reached if anybody was harassing animal lover for feeding strays. 

To ensure the safety of animals during the lockdown, The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying also issued directives for all state-run veterinary and animal medical treatment institutions to remain operational during the COVID-19 lockdown.  

Source: Twitter

You know it doesn't matter if you're an animal lover or not, if you know of any stray dogs near you, just fill a bowl with water and don't be afraid to feed them. It is literally the least you can do when you know that somebody is dependent on you for their livelihood. 

Source: Hans India

Dogs and cats aren't carriers of Corona. Don't use the pandemic or your pet's aging as an excuse to abandon your pets. 

While the government is doing their part to spread awareness about ways to take care of the stray dogs during the lockdown, we should do our bit too.