Shenzhen, a metropolitan city in South-eastern China, has received nationwide applause for building China’s first mobile cabin hospital for pets whose owners are under isolation due to positive COVID results. The initiative came after Shang Shatangyan, a village in Shenzhen, saw a local outbreak on 17 March, which resulted in 91 confirmed positive individuals and their close contacts being placed under central quarantine.
As a result, the local authorities built two “Pet Stations”, looking after more than 200 companion animals for their confined owners for free. With a growing number of pet owners required to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days, the demand for pet care services gave birth to the first mobile cabin pet hospital on 3 April to standardise services including animal daily care, health checks, and medical care. It is understood the installation can host up to 300 animals once running at full capacity.
Such a swift and heart-warming act in Shenzhen is in stark contrast to the horrors experienced by pets in other parts of the country. Some cities, namely Langfang, a prefecture-level city of Hebei province, have made it a “new policy” to kill all pets belonging to COVID patients following a strict zero COVID strategy.
Although the order was soon put on hold, according to state media China News Service, public outcry re-burst recently as a video emerged where a corgi dog was beaten to death by a healthcare worker in the city of Shanghai, which is battling hard against an Omicron-fuelled outbreak that has put the city of more than 26 million into lockdown since 18 March.
The initiative has earned Shenzhen, which is also the first city in mainland China to ban eating dogs and cats, another brownie point, with Internet users praising Shenzhen as “a city with love and humanity” and urging other cities to learn from the vanguard who is leading the country’s “warm policies”.