The coronavirus pandemic has caused many countries to go into lockdown mode. People are social distancing and staying home as much as possible. People are around the world are getting sick, dying, and recovering and we are living through difficult times. However, humans aren’t the only ones affected by this pandemic. Animals are suffering too. Many pets in China were abandoned, shelters are in urgent need of people to foster and adopt, sanctuaries don’t have enough food for their animals, and labs are euthanizing the rodents used for testing. Pakistan is one of the countries in lockdown mode and animals were found howling for help abandoned in a pet shop.

The lockdown in Pakistan instructs that there be limited activity in the city to contain the spread of the infectious COVID-19. However, dozens of animals were abandoned at Empress Market to die fearing for their lives.

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ACF Animal Rescue came to their rescue. Unfortunately, they weren’t being allowed inside for a long time despite the howls of the animals inside. When they were finally able to help, they were very careful having limited volunteers wearing protective gear and keeping their distance from each other.

Ayesha Chundrigar of ACF told The News International: “About 70 percent of the animals in the shops are dead and the other 30 percent are in a bad state… About 60 animals were taken out from the shops, the ones that were barely conscious and taken to shelters.”

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Taking care of the rescued animals from Empress Market. About 60% of the animals at the market were dead. The other 40% were barely alive. Some are hidden away somewhere and we were not able to access them. The DHA pet shops refused to allow us in but animals were screaming in agony and despair inside. We are trying our best to help today as well. There were countless dead bodies of animals strewn outside the market creating an unbearable stench. If COVID-19 doesn’t kill us, this kind of cruelty towards animals that leads to decay and toxicity will eventually. A lot of people are calling us heroes. We don’t see ourselves as heroes. Or animal rights activists or animal avengers. We simply see ourselves as decent human beings who know that the world doesn’t just belong to people, but to all living beings. The COVID-19 outbreak only began because of severe cruelty towards animals. This is commonplace, in fact a norm in our country as well where animals are seen as private property rather than living beings with rights of their own that must be respected. And any decent human being should be able to see that rather than creating a separate type of human called an ‘animal lover’. You shouldn’t have to be an animal lover to care about the suffering of others. That should be indoctrinated into our culture as a norm of being a decent human being, as normal to us as eating because we know we are hungry. Or not touching the stove because we know it’s hot. If this time should teach us anything, it’s not self-care, it’s self-challenge. Challenge your beliefs, your norms and your mindset to understand why we are in this position we are in today where cruelty towards other species has brought the whole human race to a standstill.

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While updating people on the recovery of the animals, they also shared a strong message about animal cruelty. They reminded everyone that this all began because of cruelty to animals to begin with. They said: “We don’t see ourselves as heroes. Or animal rights activists or animal avengers. We simply see ourselves as decent human beings who know that the world doesn’t just belong to people, but to all living beings.”

They may not see themselves as heroes, but we still admire them for their bravery, work, and determination to stand up for what’s right!

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As they’ve said, we hope that one thing that does come out of this pandemic is the understanding that we should respect animals and treat them better.

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