The first dog in the world to be found with the new coronavirus died on Monday after testing negative for the disease and returning home, according to Hong Kong’s animal welfare authority.
The 17-year-old Pomeranian, which belonged to a now-recovered Covid-19 patient, had been under mandatory quarantine at a government facility since February 26, and returned home last Saturday.
A spokesman for the city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said: “The department learned from the dog’s owner that it had passed away on March 16. The owner said she was not willing to [allow] an autopsy to examine the cause of death.”
The dog had repeatedly been tested during its quarantine. A total of five tests from its nasal and oral samples all returned “weak positive” results for the virus.
It was not until the two tests – carried out on March 12 and 13 – proved the dog’s samples were negative that the department allowed it to leave the centre and return home.
The owner, a 60-year-old woman, was confirmed to be infected and hospitalised on February 25. She recovered and returned home on March 8. Some of the woman’s close contacts were also confirmed with the coronavirus.
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SOURCE: South China Morning Post, Lilian Cheng