Just when you thought the anti-vax movement couldn't get any crazier, a group of them in Brooklyn one-upped the rest.
According to the Brooklyn Paper, veterinarians in the heavily-populated New York City borough have reported that some pet owners are worried vaccines may cause autism in their pets -- despite no evidence of autism even existing in non-humans.
“We do see a higher number of clients who don’t want to vaccinate their animals,” Dr. Amy Ford of the Veterinarian Wellness Center in the Boerum Hill neighborhood told the Brooklyn Paper. “This may be stemming from the anti-vaccine movement, which people are now applying to their pets.”
Dr. Ford said that more and more people hailing from hip areas of Brooklyn are refusing to vaccinate their pets for rabies, distemper and hepatitis -- all of which are required by law in New York.
“It’s actually much more common in the hipster-y areas,” Ford said. “I really don’t know what the reasoning is, they just feel that injecting chemicals into their pet is going to cause problems.”
Dr. Stephanie Liff of Pure Paws Veterinary Care in the Clinton Hill neighborhood told the Brooklyn Paper why it's doubly-absurd for pet owners to not vaccinate their pets based on autism concerns.
“We’ve never diagnosed autism in a dog," Liff said. "I don’t think you could.”
According to the report, this trend is all the more unsettling due to an outbreak of Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection, in the Bronx last year. The infection is both very harmful to humans and deadly for dogs, and an uptick in pet vaccinations has also apparently been accompanied by an uptick in anti-vax sentiment among Brooklnite pet owners.