Euthanizing three COVID-positive cats sparks animal lovers’ regret but more understanding
Published: Sep 29, 2021 08:34 PM Updated: Sep 29, 2021 09:34 AM
Photo of the cats tested positive for coronavirus. Photo: Global Times

Photo of the cats tested positive for coronavirus. Photo: Global Times

Euthanizing three cats which tested positive for coronavirus in the epidemic-hit northeastern Chinese city of Harbin has sparked a mixed response online.

The owner of the cats, who tested positive for the coronavirus and is under treatment, said her residential community notified her that the three cats would receive mercy killing. 

"I know that under such circumstances, they cannot be taken care of. But they are really important to me," said the owner on Sina Weibo on Tuesday.

Her post was soon liked by 38,000 netizens, and garnered more than 4,700 comments. The topic was viewed 140 million times as of press time. 

Some netizens were trying to figure out a way to help her rescue her pets.

Many other netizens, on the other hand, criticized the cat owner for a "lack of sympathy for people fighting COVID-19." "Can you shoulder the responsibility of further contagion? Plus, there's no plan of treating the animal," said another Sina Weibo user, accusing the cat owner as being "selfish."

Later on Tuesday night, the owner said her cats had already been euthanized.

"The testers in the community are all good, they are doing things for the country," she said, noting that the safety of the country and people are the priority under any circumstance.

Employees from the community said that unlike human beings, there's no place for treating a coronavirus-positive cat. "If the cat is not dealt with, the whole house will be positive, and the owner cannot return home, nor can residents of the building."

According to the Law on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, animals can be controlled or killed during an epidemic outbreak. 

Since the pandemic, a number of animals have been found positive for the coronavirus, including dogs, cats and even tigers. 

Those cases have raised concerns over the risks of such animals becoming sources of human infections, and Chinese virologists told the Global Times previously that people should pay attention to pets of patients.

Global Times