Hysterical and anxious pet owners are preemptively asking vets to put down their pets over fears that their animals will contract the deadly coronavirus.
Southern Cross Veterinary Clinic in St Peters, Sydney, has received three calls from owners asking to have their pets euthanised.
“They’re scared their dog could catch coronavirus and bring it home and be a risk to their family,” Dr Sam Kovac told 10 daily.
“I had one client say to me 'dogs are in lock down in China, should I be putting Cheto into quarantine at home?',” he said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged for caution as the virus is unable to spread from dogs to humans.
— UNICEF New Zealand (@UNICEFNZ) March 2, 2020
Dr Sam Kovac has said he has refused to put the animals down.
“If you'd ask the same clients if they'd euthanise their grandma, they'd say no. Why have a pet and treat it differently to how you'd treat another family member?” he explained.
“I am worried about people going elsewhere to euthanise pets because there are unscrupulous people out there that would profit from putting animals down.”
He also said that people shouldn’t stop taking their dogs to dog parks out of fear.
“If my dog Clara had been infected with [COVID-19], I would isolate her, I would wear protective equipment while interacting with her and feeding her and isolate her for a few weeks.”
“There’s a good chance that if she catches it, she’ll recover.”
This article originally appeared on Over60.