Don’t dump your furry friends — pets not a threat of COVID-19

Published 10:16 am Thursday, April 16, 2020

Some people may be getting rid of their family pets in fear of catching coronavirus from them. But that hasn’t been the case locally.

Lincoln County is not seeing an increase in animals dumped during the COVID-19 outbreak.

There hasn’t been a lot of good news associated with COVID-19, but this certainly may be. While other areas in the state have seen an increase in animal dumping, Brookhaven has not.

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“Puppies are being dumped, but not because of the virus,” Animal Control officer Sharon Norton said. “I haven’t seen anything here.”

While some still may be dumping their animals, they aren’t because of COVID-19.

Brookhaven Animal Rescue League hasn’t seen an increase in animals being brought to the shelter, either.

“There hasn’t been an increase at this time,” BARL president Rusty Adcock said.

The shelter is closed to visitors right now, but the staff is still working to care for their animals they currently have.

Many individuals are dumping or surrendering their pets due to the belief that their animal may infect them COVID-19. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, that isn’t the case.

“The CDC has not received any reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, and we have no information that suggests that pets might be a source of infection for people with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” states a report listed on the AVMA website.

Adcock said the animal shelter hasn’t seen anything out of the ordinary during this time.

“Thankfully that’s not been an issue in our community,” Adcock said.

According to the CDC, individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should limit interaction with their household pets as they would other members of the household. Direct contact is also advised against. This includes touching, petting, being licked, and sharing a bed or food.

For more information on handling pets during the COVID-19 outbreak, go to


Story by Gracie Byrne