Due to the ongoing deadly Coronavirus, thousands of pet owners can’t return to their homes after the Wuhan lockdown. Luckily, there are animal rescue groups that are doing just about everything to help the poor creatures that got left behind. Volunteers have reportedly had to break down doors and climb in through windows to get to animals left in locked apartments and houses. One rescuer estimates that approximately 20,000 animals are stranded in Wuhan, while others say the number is as high as 50,000. Fortunately, over 10 animal rescue groups are working around the clock to rescue the pets and bring them to safety.

More info: Wuhan Small Animal Protection AssociationCompassion For Animals

It is estimated that tens of thousands of pets are left stranded in Wuhan

Image credits: Wuhan Pet Life Online

In China, a number of animal rescue groups are looking out for the pets left behind in Wuhan amidst the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Wuhan, the city that is considered to be the epicenter of the deadly virus outbreak, is home to over 11 million people and is currently under lockdown. Many pet owners have been prevented from returning home after leaving the town.

But 10 different animal rescue groups are working around the clock to save the animals

Image credits: Wuhan Pet Life Online

Volunteers from more than 10 different animal rescue groups are “racing against the clock” to rescue thousands of pets left behind in Wuhan, South China Morning Post reports. One veterinarian who wanted to remain anonymous has told the media that his rescue group⁠—Wuhan Pet Life⁠—has saved over 2,000 pets from all over the city since its lockdown.

The volunteers are breaking down doors and climbing through windows to get to them

Image credits: Wuhan Pet Life Online

“The pets were found in homes with no food and water. Their owners left their houses last month not expecting that they would not be able to return home,” one of the volunteers told Chinese media. “Pets are beginning to starve to death or die from thirst.”

The virus hasn’t been proven to transmit to animals

Image credits: Wuhan Pet Life Online

Although the virus hasn’t been proven to transmit from humans to animals, many people are rushing to buy masks for their pets. A veterinary epidemiologist for VCA Animal Hospitals has explained to a news outlet: “While pictures of Chinese dogs wearing face masks are showing up online, there’s no scientific evidence that these masks protect dogs from either infectious diseases or air pollutant. Dogs’ faces have a lot more variation than human faces do, meaning that a face mask designed to fit one type or breed of dog is unlikely to fit most others. Additionally, we cannot explain to a dog why we are putting something potentially scary or uncomfortable on their face.”

However, people can’t get back to Wuhan to their beloved pets

Image credits: SCMP

A leader of Wuhan Indigenous Cats group has told Chinese media that they were the first in Wuhan to provide such a rescue service after the lockdown, which came into effect on January 23rd. “We have served around 500 households so far, with 400 more to do. Our volunteers have cars. Depending on the owners’ requests, some cats are transported to owners’ friends’ homes or pet clinics for temporary stay,” the volunteer told South China Morning Post.

“[We] tried as much as we can to get into the private apartments to take pets out”

Image credits: Compassion For Animals

“We have helped more than 600 pets since last week. Most of them were left and locked in the apartment before the lockdown. It is very difficult to do that because we are not allowed to get into private apartments without permission. At the time, it is hard to prove that we are authorized. So we tried at least to feed them in well-secured communities. And tried as much as we can to get into the private apartments to take pets out,” Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association wrote on their Facebook on February 1st.

People online were extremely appreciative of the volunteers’ work