Cats and dogs have reportedly been thrown from tower blocks in China after rumors circulated, claiming that pets can spread the Coronavirus.
Chilling pictures coming out of crisis-hit China are said to show bloodied corpses of cats and dogs lying on roads and sidewalks after being hurled to their death.
According to media sources (unconfirmed), at least five cats were thrown to death in Shanghai, with locals apparently claiming they were pets because the animals had smooth and clean fur.
One dog was also found dead after allegedly being thrown from a tower block in the Heyuan Guohe Garden area of Tianjin City in China, Hebei Province.
Local media reported that the pooch was thrown from the upper floors of a tower block at around 4 am and it smashed the sunroof of a car before ending up on the ground.
Reports state the sound of the dog hitting the car woke the neighbors as "it sounded like a tire explosion." They later found the dog lying dead on the ground with its blood staining surrounding bricks.
The sickening incidents happened after Dr. Li Lanjuan said on Chinese state TV, "If pets come into contact with suspected patients, they should be quarantined."
However, a local media outlet reportedly tweaked her words into "cats and dogs can spread the coronavirus."
The rumor spread quickly shortly after Zhibo China shared it on the social media platform, Weibo.
In a bid to put an end to the false claims, China Global Television Network posted a quote from the World Health Organisation:
"There is no evidence showing that pets such as cats and dogs can contract the novel coronavirus, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday in one of its responses to people's concerns over the recent virus outbreak. The organization suggested washing hands with soap and water to prevent other germs from transmitting between humans and animals."
Animal advocacy groups joined in the truth-bearing information hoping that officials would find some of the pet owners who indiscriminately threw their pets to their death based on a social media tweet without ever researching the source.
PETA Asia press officer for China, Keith Guo, said:
"We hope the police can find the cold-blooded guardians of those poor animals as soon as possible."
"In fact, it's the filthy factory farms, slaughterhouses, and meat markets that threaten the health of every human being on the planet by providing a breeding ground for deadly diseases like coronavirus, SARS, bird flu, and more."