"Cats and dogs are not the main spreaders."

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NICEVILLE — After new data suggested that cats are susceptible to coronavirus, a veterinarian in Niceville said the likelihood of an animal infecting a human is very low.


"Cats and dogs are not the main spreaders," she said.


Dr. Jennifer Fortune of the Niceville Animal Clinic said there is no evidence to prove dogs and cats can transmit the virus to people. She said the virus can be transmitted from the cats to cats and from humans to cats.


She said it is more likely for a human to spread the virus to the pets, and if the owner does catch coronavirus, "You treat the pet like it’s one of your kids," she said.


The CDC recommends isolating from pets like you would any family member, and there is zero reason to surrender a pet to a shelter or rescue, she said.


While there may be an uptick in owner surrenders, Fortune said she has seen the opposite in her clinic.


"I am not worried about owner surrenders especially in this area," she said. "Our people are not surrendering their dogs."


Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, she has adopted out all but one of the rescues at the Niceville clinic.


She said many people may be feeling lonely, so the solution is a furry friend.


"There’s nothing that comforts ... more than pets," she said.


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