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Host family for pets of corona patients must prevent them from getting sick: ‘Pets are victims of humans here’ – Insurance for Pets


Dogs and cats can become infected with corona through humans. To reduce the risks for them, animal shelter Crailo has set up a platform. “Pets from corona patients can now go to host families until their owners are better again.”

Rianne Steenbeek of the animal shelter Crailo already knew that dogs and cats can become infected with the coronavirus. The cats in New York, the cat in Belgium and the dog in Hong Kong had all received COVID-19 from their sick owners. Steenbeek is not surprised by the message from Minister Carola Schouten that the first cases have now also been discovered in the Netherlands, but she thinks it is sad. “The three Dutch cats lived on the mink farm where earlier this month the mink became infected by the staff and the dog became infected by his sick owner. So it is the people who infect the animals, and that gives a responsibility.”

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“Not in bed, no licking and no stroking”

Dr. Herman Egberink of the Virology Laboratory at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrecht is a veterinary virologist and studies animal viruses. He will conduct further research into corona infections among pets. “And especially pets in a household where there are human covid patients. Testing cats for corona will be part of the research. We hope to gain more insight into the number of infections. But we only do that with cats. who have a sick owner. There is no point in testing all pets that are sniffling. “

For corona patients with pets, Egberink recommends keeping the dog or cat indoors to prevent other infections from taking place. “Now if you say, try to avoid contact, do it with your pet. Don’t leave it in bed, don’t lick it, and don’t pet it.”

dr. Herman Egberink of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Utrecht

“The pet is really the victim here”

Research shows that infected cats can also infect other cats, although that number is very small. So far, no case of animal-to-human contamination is known, Egberink says. “The pet is really a victim of humans here and not the other way around.”

To reduce the contamination risks for pets, Rianne Steenbeek has therefore started a platform on which people can register as a host family for animals with a corona patient as their owner. “You do not want to put your great-aunt’s dog in a busy shelter, which is pathetic and not good for such an animal. It just has to be taken care of in a homely environment and waiting for a blanket to heat up until its owner is better again. “

Press the shelters

70 host families have already registered in ‘t Gooi. Steenbeek hopes that other asylums in the Netherlands will follow suit. “We hope that this will reduce the pressure on the shelters and increase the welfare of the pets.”


Watch the TV report here.