Weird Animal News – September 2020 edition


Dogs are going missing for 1 strange reason

Dogs are going missing, and one reason could be boiled down to simple theft. At least that is what has been reported from England. But you should be aware of this story no matter where you live.

dogs are going missing puppu in a basket being held by a woman

Why dogs are going missing

According to Dr. Daniel Allen, an animal expert from Keele University, who recently filed a petition to review the Theft Act 1968 to declare pet theft a major crime. The petition was filed to curtail the alarming increase in dog stealing since the Corona pandemic.

The current lockdown situation caused a drastic surge in dog theft across England.  Since March, the COVID-19 has stuck the people inside, so they are spending more time with their pets. Those having no pets are inclined to buy new puppies to have a good time with their companions.

“Years ago, it was people nicking dogs from outside shops. Now it’s people targeting breeders, taking the mum and the pups in one fell swoop.” Said Allen on Monday while leading a debate over his petition.

But unfortunately, increased demands for puppies drove their prices through the roof, which led to almost a 65%  rise in dog thefts in different areas of England.

cute dog in front of a rainbow with its tongue out
Related: Rabies Immunization needed worldwide

Expert Opinion

The experts explain why dogs are going missing. According to Wayne May from the organization Dog Lost :

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years now, and it’s the worst ever year I’ve known”. Unfortunately, due to lockdown, people are at home more, and they’re looking for companion animals to take up their time. Sadly the criminals capitalized on this. It’s pushed the price of dogs and puppies up in general, which has inadvertently sparked a high rise in dog thefts.”

In the last two months, Cambridge shire Police have reported  17 dog thefts and warned them to stay alert after increased dog stealing. People are advised to keep a vigilant eye as the people intended to steal dogs mark Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire’s target houses.

The police have advised them it’s likely to have been written by people intending to try and steal the two dogs

Thrapston Town resident
puppies laying in a basket with a fireplace and christmas decorative background

Crooks target the most popular and trendy breeds of dogs as their prices have doubled during the pandemic. For example, Cocker spaniels sell for £3,500 during the lockdown, almost twice the cost than regular days.

Apart from Cocker spaniel, other breeds, including Jack Russells, Labradors, cocker spaniel, and cockapoos, are right on these gangs’ targets. Besides, with that much inflation on dogs’ prices, any dog could be a potential target.

three pupies playing in some grass

Conclusion

The campaign led by Dr. Allen provoked hope among the people that the government would take modern actions to ensure the safety of their pets by tightening the laws regarding pet thefts.

We hope you are not one of the millions of pet owners victimized each year along with their pets. It has been reported that only 10% of owners get their pets back. In some cases, proving your stolen dog is yours can be difficult. Ultimately you must be aware and take care of your dog.

Pet Mink – Why It Might Not Be The Best Time To Own One

The ongoing  COVID-19 pandemic that engulfed more than a million human lives globally did not spare the lives of animals. Mink, who has played a significant role in countries’ economies by contributing fur, is now the victim of this brutal virus.

The Facts about Minks and Covid-19

In the United States, the first infected mink was confirmed in Utah almost two months ago when farmworkers were tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, the number of Infected mink is rising exponentially, and now over 10,000 mink have died in Utah. Initially, the reason behind the death of these mink was not clear, but when the samples were collected and sent to laboratories, they tested positive for COVID-19.

“After unusually large numbers of mink died at the farms, the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory completed necropsies on several of the affected animals.”

According to the state’s veterinarian, Dean Taylor:

COVID -19 mostly infected and killed older mink, “wiping out 50% percent of the breeding colonies.” Younger mink was not affected.

Apart from the United States, the virus also affected the Mink in Denmark, and the Danish government ordered to cull more than one million mink to curb the virus outbreak.

A pet mink is legal to own in many places, but not without some serious drawbacks

Though the Coronavirus transmits easily from one mink to another, it was no confirmed whether the virus can be transferred to humans from animals or not?

There is currently no evidence that animals, including mink, play a significant role in transmitting the virus to humans. As it now stands, due to limited information and research, the risk of animals spreading SARS-CoV-2 to humans is considered low

Utah agriculture authorities.

However, recent research by Marion Koopmans, a virologist at ErasmusMC in Rotterdam, has confirmed the viral transmission from mink to human.

According to Humane Society International (HSI), Netherland culled 2.6 million mink after finding “strong evidence “that two people contracted the virus from mink farms. Moreover, it is reported that Humans and Mink show similar symptoms when infected with COVID-19.

In Denmark, the virus was initially transmitted from workers to mink and then spread between them.

Mink show open mouth breathing, discharge from their eyes and nose and are not sick for several days before passing away. They typically die within the next day.” Taylor explained.

The Culling of the Minks

Denmark decided to cull 17 million Mink after detecting a new Mink related COVID-19

The Danish government recently decided to pull the trigger and cull 17 million Mink, almost wiping out a major national industry in Denmark. Veterinary workers started to burn Mink upon Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s order to halt the transmission of COVID-19 from Mink to human.

Last week, the decision was made after scientists detected an upsurge in the spread of Coronavirus’s altered form, infecting hundreds of people in Denmark. According to the researchers, this new strain of COVID-19 showed transmission from Mink to human.

Denmark’s health minister Magnus Heunicke said that half detected Mink related strain out of 783 infected cases in Northern Denmark.

The virus was detected first time in June by Denmark’s State Serum Institute, but suddenly an alarming rise in its spread provoked serious concerns among the Danish government.

“It is very, very serious. Thus, the mutated virus in minks can have devastating consequences worldwide,” said Frederiksen.

According to a State Serum Institute report, almost 214 people have been infected with this Mink related strain of Coronavirus since June. Denmark’s minister for food, Mogens Jensen, stated that the COVID-19 infected almost 41 farms until October has stretched to 207 farms in Denmark.

After reporting increased cases of the mink-related virus in northern Denmark, the government closed all regional borders and decided to impose a strict lockdown. Only health workers and police are permitted to cross municipal boundaries.

In seven northern municipalities, transport, cultural, and sports activities have been adjourned. The Danish government also declared to shut down all schools from fifth grade, restaurants, and other public spots. England banned all Danes visitors from constraining the mutated Coronavirus transmission.

Though this Mink related strain of COVID-19 is under investigation, researchers feared that it could be more dangerous and resistant to vaccines.

“Every time the virus spreads between animals, it changes, and if it changes too much from the one that is circulating within humans at the moment, that might mean that any vaccine or treatment that will be produced soon might not work as well as it should do,” said Dr. Marisa Peyre, a French epidemiologist.

According to researchers, the virus undergoes mutations when it spreads from humans to Mink. Mink is more vulnerable to getting infected, and when these infected Mink transmit viruses are back to humans, the mutated virus is more lethal for humans.

According to the World Health Organization’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan:

“We need to wait and see what the implications are, but I don’t think we should come to any conclusions about whether this particular mutation is going to impact vaccine efficacy, “Until now, scientists have found many animals susceptible to receive  COVID19  from humans, but Mink is the only animal which showed the ability to transfer virus back to human. Apart from Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, and the United States have also reported Mink infections; however, only Denmark reported new mink-related COVID-19 in patients.

Conclusion

The confirmation and virus transmission from mink to a human and alarming mink death rate raised serious concerns about virus transmission. The world that is already engaged in finding a solution to treat this lethal virus in humans now has to concentrate on this side. Needless to say, it might not be the best time for that pet mink. Or any exotic pet, for that matter.