PUNE: Dog breeders and pet shop owners with animals are having trouble in feeding animals due to the 21-day lockdown to curb pandemic COVID-19. Stray animals are also deprived of food due to the lockdown.
Meanwhile, in a notification dated March 25 of the State Government, it is mentioned that animal fodder, veterinary hospitals, animal care centres and pet shops shall be exempted from the lockdown as they are part of essential services.
“Dog breeders and pet shop owners with animals are facing issues in feeding their animals. Since there is this lockdown and my kennel is far from my place, I am facing issues in going there and feeding my dogs. Other breeders who have their kennel far from their home are facing similar issues. Therefore, we expect that there should be certain hours given to us so that we can provide food to the animals or they will die,” said Yogesh Akulwar, a dog-breeder and President of Pets Association Pune, which is an association of pet shops owners and breeders.
Ashish Dhage, owner, Arav Pet Shop and Vice President of the association, also echoed the same sentiment. He said, “Pet shops with live animals should be given one hour in the morning and evening each to feed animals in their shops. However, due to the lockdown, we are facing issues. There are a lot of pet owners who are calling us for the delivery of pet food, but we are unable to do so. There should be separate guidelines for the same.”
The stray animals are also affected due to the lockdown as there were no one to feed them. Besides, breeders and pet shop owners were also facing issues in feeding animals. However, looking at the pandemic, it is also not safe for humans to be out there. There should be certain provision made so that these animals do not suffer,” said Neha Panchamiya, President of RESQ Charitable trust.
However, the State Animal Husbandry department and Maharashtra State Animal Welfare Board have issued a notification to all the district administration to ensure the availability of feed and fodder for the animals and also allow specific time to feed the stray animals on Monday. The veterinary and clinic services were also part of essential services.