AN RSPCA adoption centre in Coventry has closed to new arrivals due to Coronavirus fears.
The Coventry and district branch of the RSPCA said it cannot take new arrivals of dogs or cats.
In a statement on social media, the rehoming centre said: “Due to the current coronavirus we are taking precautions to protect both our staff and our animals, because of this we are stopping in taking animals.
“If you are currently on our waiting list for your pet to come in to us, please bear with us, you will stay on our list and we will be in contact with you as soon as we are able to take animals in again.
“Please be assured we are taking the threat of the virus very seriously and taking all reasonable steps to prevent the disease coming to our centre. There are currently no signs of illness at the centre and are proceeding with adoptions.
“If you are planning to come to the centre for an appointment please do not be offended if we ask if you have any symptoms or ask you to sanitise your hands.
“Needless to say if you do have symptoms please call us to cancel your appointment.”
The adoption centre, based near Allesley, said rehoming for pets currently on lists would go ahead as normal.
Other pet adoption centres in the region have also made statements on the virus. Pawprints in Rugby said: “As long as we can meet the financial obligation from the highly likely increase of abandonment due to fear, illness or very sadly, death; that we can provide the kennel space and ensure that we have back up plans in place in case of mass self-isolation or illness of staff at kennels or volunteers; we promise to try our hardest to save as many dogs lives as we possibly can.
“We expect that most of the larger rescue centres will cease intake shortly. We understand their reasons why. People must give consideration to the fact that if rescue centre staff are forced to self-isolate along with the very real prospect of area lockdown, just who will care for the animals when this happens? Nobody allowed in. Nobody well enough to give even the basic care. The result of which is horrifying but sadly, this is the reality.
“We are working very hard to build teams of people who can help in this event. Never before have we needed a tiered system of back-up plans to be put in place to ensure the dogs in our rescue are given even the basics of care to ensure their survival. These are unprecedented and extremely terrifying scenarios that must be planned for.
“We expect adoptions to fall dramatically as people will, and rightly so, be concerned about their own finances if they are unable to work as businesses are forced to close, many for good.
“Anybody knowingly abandoning their dogs through ignorance and fear will have contributed to an already horrific situation. These people should be reported for abandonment to RSPCA and face the consequences of their actions.
“Please do not panic into abandoning animals when there are likely to be huge numbers needing help very soon.”