Mr Mao – heroic cat rescuer saving cats left behind in Wuhan coronavirus panic

NEWS/OPINION FROM CHINA’S CORONAVIRUS CATASTROPHE: This is another story about how the novel coronavirus epidemic (pandemic?) is affecting cat companions in Wuhan, China. The virus has exposed some uncomfortable truths concerning the human to companion cat relationship in China. It is reported that when push comes to shove thousands of cat companions are being shoved away to die of starvation in apartments where they have been abandoned by their fleeing owners.

Deserted city in coronavirus panic

Deserted city in coronavirus panic. Leaving cats and dogs behind is very cruel and unjustified.

Lao Mao, 43, a Wuhan resident is heroically rescuing cats trapped in apartments. reports that he recently climbed up the outside of the building to a third floor apartment using the drain pipes. The owners had gone away, we are told, on a vacation for three days and were prevented from retuning by the lock down in the city. It seems that their behaviour was careless at best. Mao found the starved cats under the sofa.

Mao is member of a group of volunteers who have rescued more than 1,000 companion animals since Jan 25. Mao believes that up to 50,000 pets have been abandoned in homes in Wuhan as their ‘owners’ escaped the city to avoid the viral infection.

My conservative estimate is that around 5,000 are still trapped, and they may die of starvation in the coming days.

Mao said that he has barely slept and that his phone never stops ringing. He believes that about 5,000 cats and dogs are still trapped, left abandoned in apartments across the city. They are destined to die of starvation. Although cats have an incredible ability to survive long periods without sustenance.

Scaremongering and fake news has made cats and dogs villains in this virus epidemic as people believe that they spread the disease. Owners are fearful about the welfare of their companion animals. On occasion they have panicked and thrown their animals out of high-rise windows to their deaths.

Twitter is helping. The hashtag ‘save the pets left behind in Wuhan’ is the third most searched term on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

This is a moment for people to stop referring to domestic cats and dogs as ‘pets’. ‘Companion animal’ is a better term and if used long enough would help stop people abandoning them in huge numbers. I know there is panic by some people but if you panic don’t let it cause companion animals to suffer and starve, please.


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Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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