In the face of a global pandemic, domesticated and companion animals are relegated to the most vulnerable stratification of society. Companion animals (pets) have been established as family members in a wide breath of cultures globally; thereby ensuring reliance on humans for maintaining care and wellbeing. Furthermore, those on social media are sharing animal stories, photos, memes, and videos as a mechanism of distraction, enjoyment, and humor. Animals are becoming the force to bring humanity together through crisis, and yet, they require human care and compassion. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was confronted with three pertinent questions: 1. How do individuals provide physical and emotional care and enrichment for pets during a pandemic? 2. Are there zoonotic concerns in caring for a pet? 3. What are the mid- and long-term repercussions of the pandemic for pet care? To address these questions, this paper identifies avenues of support, and challenges that can be addressed in the midst of the pandemic to advance and ensure companion animal welfare. This is the moment we collectively challenge the notion of companion animals as family members and the importance of these very animals in our lives.
- animal welfare
- veterinary social work