Founder Doni Herdaru Tona has been selling homemade food and clothes for cats and dogs to raise cash for the care of the unsupervised pets. His shelter costs about 120 million rupiah (US$8,340) to run each month. No donations or payments are accepted from owners.
Concerns about virus transmission from animal to human also complicated the situation and meant many pets were abandoned, Doni said.
Veterinarian Magda Rumawas said people should not be overly worried and recommends COVID-19 patients in self-isolation keep pets by their side to ease anxiety.
“They can keep people entertained and they can help to reduce stress, which is good. But my advice is, do not hug and kiss the dogs,” Magda said.
The AD-19 rescue mission is tailored to the needs of pet owners, and includes bathing, feeding and the cleaning of cages.
“We will do everything according to the owner’s request,” said Doni.
Usually pets are returned to their owners upon their recovery. But in some cases, owners do not return.
“The scariest part is our mobile phone is mostly filled by reports of owners who had passed away, and their pets are abandoned,” said Doni.