Following fears of coronavirus, Chinese citizens are now disposing of dogs and cats. Photos show corpses of the animals lining the streets. Animal activists are breaking into homes to save pets, according to Reuters.

Pet owners seem to be panicking after misinformation spread about the coronavirus and cats and dogs. Many villages mistakenly shared information saying the virus could be spread through animals. The World Health Organization denied the connection between pets and the disease, explaining that dogs and cats would not spread the virus.

But some citizens don’t seem to have received that important information. Multiple pictures posted on Twitter show the sad photos. Concerned animal lovers posted on Twitter, according to the Hindustan Times. One user wrote, “This is so disgusting and horrific!!!! That would be the day I’d give my pet up or kill my pet! Now it’s all a rumour? The animals are not carrying the disease! Just keep everyone in that country calm, don’t kill the pets!!!!”

Many animals have also been trapped in homes as their owners are prevented from traveling back home due to the virus. A Wuhan citizen named Lao Mao has been working to rescue animals, he estimates that 50,000 pets are left alone after their owners have left the city. He told Reuters, ” The volunteers on our team, me included, have saved more than 1,000 pets since Jan. 25.” Owners have been reaching out on social media for help.

Activists calling for people not to leave their pets in wake of the virus:

Animal activists have been speaking out about the connection between the wildlife trade and coronavirus. The virus is thought to have started in an exotic animal market in Wuhan.

See the photos on Twitter, below:

On February 3, China reported that 17,205 people were infected with the coronavirus. And 361 people had died from the virus.

Check out the latest on pets in China, read How Pets in China are Suffering.

You can help prevent future viral outbreaks by supporting the end of the wildlife trade. Sign this petition!

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