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Tiger at Bronx Zoo Tests Positive for COVID-19


A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Gary Weitzman, the President and CEO of the Humane Society of San Diego, urged people to be guided by science and to keep their pets at home with them, saying, “As our knowledge of this virus evolves, keeping up with the changing news about the coronavirus can be challenging. Now, more than ever, it’s important to let science and facts guide our decision making.”

“Despite this case receiving a lot of attention,” he continued, “it doesn’t change what we already know about communicability of the virus by or from our pets:

  • While both cats and dogs can test positive from what we’ve seen in Hong Kong and now the Bronx, it is not believed that either can give us COVID-19.
  • We, on the other hand, may be able to give it to them. If you’re infected with COVID-19, don’t cuddle with your pets. There’s a risk they could get COVID-19 from you.
  • Also, be sure your pet is practicing social distancing from other people and pets right now. For their health, don’t let anyone outside of your own household pet your dog or cat.

The USDA and the CDC have indicated that “Anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, including pets, out of an abundance of caution — just as they would with other people. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If a sick person must care for a pet or be around animals, they should wash their hands before and after the interaction.”

See more information from the USDA regarding COVID-19 and pets here.

“Our advice has not changed,” Dr. Weitzman urged, “Keep your pets at home with you — even if you’re self-quarantined — because it’s the best place for them to be. And be sure to take precautions as outlined by the CDC. For more information about protecting your pets and ensuring their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our website.”

We hope this information helps to ease your mind about the health and safety of your pets during this challenging time. Thank you for staying informed about how the virus is impacting animals and for looking out for your pets. Be well, and know that we’ll continue to be here for the animals and people in our community.

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