The novel coronavirus has infected and killed thousands of people around the globe. But it’s not just humans The novel coronavirus has infected and killed thousands of people around the globe. But it’s not just humans who have been impacted by the spread of the pandemic. Many animals have died or are at risk of dying after people went into self-isolation in the wake of the lockdown.
Amidst the COVID-19 lockdown in Pakistan, the once busy streets of Karachi are now empty. Animals, both stray and in captivity, are facing a hard time. Animals on the streets are still managing somehow. However, many local pet stores still echo with withering howls and cries as they die from starvation. Animals in Karachi’s Empress Market were the worst affected.
As of now, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there are reports of more than 2,400 cases, followed by 35 deaths, in Pakistan. A major part of the country is still under lockdown. However, some of the shops were recently opened in Karachi upon special orders from the Sindh Government, for Ayesha Chundrigarh and her team of ACF Animal Rescue to extricate the animals. What she found there, is a terrible story.
Animals left to die in closed shops
According to Ayesha Chundrigarh, “At present, about 70 percent of the animals in the shops are dead. The other 30 percent are in a bad state. The shopkeepers still are not giving us many that require help.”
With no air or light reaching them, several frail cats and dogs crammed up in cages, are suffering from severe dehydration.
“The ACF team evacuated around 60 animals from the shops. Importantly, the barely conscious ones are now under our shelter,” Chundrigar said while speaking to a local media outlet.
In her statement, she said that the shop owners have hidden away most of the animals, which were present during their first visit. This points out to the fact that the ones in poor conditions had been strewn away by the owners away from the area’s vicinity.
Chundrigar and her team observed all kinds of precautionary measures while conducting this animal rescue. This includes maintaining social distancing and wearing of protective gear by the volunteers and staff.
“Social distancing is something we were very cautious of and the number of people out on the road. So we divided a handful of volunteers into different areas. They covered themselves in protective gear. Whilst, speedily trying to finish the task and bring those animals to safety,” she added in the interview.
Message for people
Nevertheless, the COVID-19 lockdown has been cruel for animals. Animal rights activists in Sindh, devise that since public places of eateries are closed, the strays have no means of feeding themselves. In such a scenario, those roaming the streets, are at a high risk of dying from starvation.
The ACF organization also informed animal lovers through their Instagram account that the animals abandoned for howling in pet shops, amidst lockdown, have been saved.
View this post on Instagram
How one social media post, many sleepless nights worrying and planning and then taking effective action can turn into something positive! Our efforts for the pet shop rescue operation have been highlighted by CNN, one green planet (who we follow on Instagram!) countless local news channels and publications and many more international ones to come. Once again, we are so thankful to the GoS for listening to us and understanding the importance of this operation and of course, to all the volunteers for bravely coming forward to make all this possible. Our proposal has been approved by the GoS late last night regarding a more humane way of managing the street dogs rather than culling and we are confident that they will take appropriate actions. We cannot thank all of you enough for raising your voices, sharing our posts and being so passionate about this cause. That is what made everything possible. The power of unity and social media! Our future depends on Environment protection and animal welfare as these are the only actions that can save our world right now and we are all on the right track. Good Morning everybody! More posts coming up along the day! 💛☀️
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner South Karachi, Irshad Sodhar has also managed to check all the birds and pets shops in South Karachi. Alongside ACF’s help, all sick animals were shifted to shelters.
We managed to check all the birds & pets shops in South #Karachi
Govt Vets with Volunteer vets and reps of Innocent Pet Shelter, @ACFAnimalRescue , Ma’am Meher & Ma’am Yasmeen covered all the shops
Free Feed & Medicines were provided. Sick animals were shifted to shelters pic.twitter.com/JhMRnCNqpq
— Deputy Commissioner South Karachi (@DCSouthKarachi) March 30, 2020
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