Dog rescued after owner hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms

A dog was found stranded alone on a boat in Florida after its owner left to go to the hospital for coronavirus symptoms. The dog owner called Martin County Sheriff’s Office saying he had no choice but to leave his beloved German shepherd behind, the sheriff’s office said on Facebook.

The sheriff’s office marine unit and animal service officers created a plan to rescue the animal from the boat without putting themselves at risk. They boarded the vessel in full personal protective gear, which included body suits, gloves and face masks, since the resident was suspected to have coronavirus. They found the dog onboard and brought the boat back to shore.

While the team wore protective gear to prevent exposure on the boat, experts say there is no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19.

The rescue team wore protective gear to board the boat where someone suspected of having coronavirus had been living. Martin County Sheriff’s Office

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a small number of pets outside the United States have been reported to be infected with the virus after close contact with people with COVID-19 — but not the other way around. 

Still, pet owners should heed the advice that is given to most people during the pandemic: “Wash your hands before you touch your pet, wash your hands after you touch your pet. If you’re sick, wear a mask… you should not take care of your pet and find a surrogate to take care of your pet so that you can quarantine yourself away from everyone in the family, which includes all pets,” Dr. Ann Hohenhaus of New York City’s Animal Medical Center, told CBS News.

The dog rescued from the boat will now remain at a facility until his owner recovers, the sheriff’s office said. CBS News has reached out to the office for more information. 

Categories: National, US & World News

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