Therapy Dog Comforts Medical Staff On Frontline Of COVID Pandemic

The medical professionals at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic are giving everything they have to save lives. Doctors and nurses are putting their own lives on the line, working tirelessly to serve patients and slow the spread. It is a stressful time, to say the least. The staff at Rose Medical Center in Denver are getting a bit of relief with the help of a therapy dog in training named Wynn.

Image Canine Companions Rocky Mountains/Instagram

ER Physician is Training Wynn to Serve Others

Wynn is a one-year-old Yellow Labrador who is receiving her early training from Dr. Susan Ryan. Dr. Ryan is an emergency room physician at Rose Medical Center in Denver. Wynn has been with her since the pup was just 8 weeks old. Dr. Ryan frequently takes Wynn to the hospital to gain experience and exposure provided support and therapy to patients. With the massive upwelling of COVID-19, Wynn has started serving the doctors and nurses who so desperately need emotional support during this challenging time.

Wynn is Available on Demand for Comfort and Support

Wynn has been set up in the social worker’s office where she awaits visits from doctors and nurses who need some comfort. The room has low lights, soothing music, and the comforting presence of Wynn. Dr. Ryan told CNN, “Seeing stuff and hearing stuff that you can’t unsee has an impact on you,” she said. “That’s where the dogs come in. When you are in the presence of the dog and petting them you are taking a moment to ground yourself at that present time.”

Image Rose Medical Center/Instagram

Wynn Will Complete her Training in 6-8 Months

Dr. Ryan is fostering and training Wynn as part of the program with Canine Companions for Independence. When Wynn is about 18-22 months old she will transfer to one of the organization’s training centers to complete her training. Once she is certified she will be placed in a permanent home with someone who needs her support. Canine Companions for Independence is a nonprofit that places therapy and service dogs with adults, children, and veterans with disabilities free of charge. 

In the meantime, Wynn is gaining experience in the toughest environment our medical establishment has ever faced. She is doing her part to keep doctors and nurses going at a time when we all need them the most.

Image Downtown Little Rock/Instagram

What You Can Do to Show Medical Professionals Support

Show doctors and nurses that you appreciate their sacrifice during this unprecedented challenge. #Solidarityat8 is a social media movement that asks people to go on their balconies or open their windows at 8 p.m. to cheer, clap or just make some noise to honor those working in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other medical facilities during COVID-19. 

Featured Image Canine Companions Rocky Mountains/Instagram
H/T cnn.com

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San Diego Animal Center Offers Free Pet Food During Coronavirus Outbreak

The unprecedented coronavirus outbreak has had devastating impacts on communities worldwide. Many industries have suffered and as a result, tons of people find themselves out of work during an uncertain time. Orders to stay home have led to supply shortages in grocery and pet stores.

The Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego, California aims to ease a little bit of the hurt for the recently or temporarily unemployed. They have already begun distributing free animal food and supplies to affected families through their AniMeals Program.

Christen Hanley, the director of outreach services at Helen Woodward Animal Center, explained the importance of this program in a press release.

“Pets are members of our families too and we want to assist in keeping them fed in this stressful time. Keeping families together, healthy and happy is one way we can help others.”

The center generously offers a two-week supply of food for those who qualify. Naturally Fresh will also be giving away a free 6 lb. bag of cat litter per cat to the first 200 people. The program covers up to 3 household animals.

“We’re seeing so many members of our community impacted and we hope that this will bring a little peace to families with pets in this time of need.”

Everyone could really use a little certainty during this time. Fortunately, our animals provide us with some much-needed comfort. There remains no evidence that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted to or from dogs.

How Local Residents Can Claim The Pet Food

If you qualify, you will need to fill out an appointment request form online. You’ll receive an email notification with an appointment time within 48 hours of submitting.

Pick-up times will be on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday during the daytime hours only. To avoid clusters of people (as the CDC advises,) appointments will be scheduled 10 minutes apart. You must observe your assigned time slot.

Ways To Help During The Outbreak

If you happen to find yourself in a position to help during this time, there are many ways you can offer assistance.

  • Offer your home: animal shelters down on staff but consistent on intake need fosters or adopters! While you work and stay at home, why not save a life too?
  • Donate money or supplies: as financial stability varies and volunteers stay home, shelters still need donations to help animals. Send some money or supplies to your local shelter if you can.
  • Walk dogs for those at-risk: When going out can pose a health risk, offer to walk dogs for those who must stay inside (if you are healthy.)

Take care of yourselves and give your doggies an extra big hug today!

H/T: People
Featured Image: eminens via Pixabay

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You Saved This Dog From A Slaughterhouse In South Korea!

When you purchase items from the iHeartDogs store, a portion of that profit is donated to Greater Good. Greater Good is an incredible organization that helps so many dogs in need. Thanks to customers like you, many dogs get a second chance at life. Jump is one of the many dogs that has benefitted from Greater Good donations.

Back in 2016, Jump was being taken to a slaughterhouse in South Korea. However, he was not ready to give up on life. So, he jumped out of the back of the butcher’s truck and made a run for it. That’s how he first earned his unique name.

Nami Kim rescued Jump and brought him to safety. Right away, a woman named Heidi fell in love with the sweet pup. He was one of the dogs that she volunteered to walk, and she felt a special connection to him. Jump always got excited when Heidi came to walk him.

Nami later contacted START Rescue to see if they could bring Jump to California. She thought that it would be the perfect way for Jump to get a second chance at life. However, Heidi didn’t know that Jump was leaving. She had hoped to adopt him before she left South Korea. So, she was devastated when he was suddenly transported away. Heidi hadn’t even had a chance to say goodbye.

Heidi then contacted START Rescue to find out where Jump was. So, when Heidi returned to California, she visited Jump twice. He happened to be only 10 minutes away from where Heidi used to live, so it almost seemed like fate.

In 2017, Heidi officially adopted Jump. She knew that he was the perfect dog for her, so she decided to finally give him the loving home he deserved.

“Jump is so loving and gentle toward me. Honestly, only to me though. I’m definitely the human he trusts,” said Heidi. “He gives me ‘good morning’ and ‘thank you’ kisses every day, and he’s incredibly gentle when I give him treats or food by hand. He’s so careful to not bite my fingers, and I think it’s just precious.”

Jump almost lost his life that day in the butcher’s truck, but thanks to Greater Good, START Rescue, and everyone else involved, he was rescued and given a second chance. There are so many dogs out there that need our help, so GreaterGood will continue to do what they can to help as many dogs as possible. Jump is so lucky to finally have a loving family!

Thanks to purchases from the iHeartDogs store, many dogs like Jump are saved and given the life they deserve. iHeartDogs sells a wide variety of products that both you and your dogs will enjoy. Every purchase can make a difference, so thank you to everyone that has purchased products to help dogs in need!

Images from START Rescue

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Pet Parents Need To Know

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Let’s start with this…there is no cause for alarm if you are the loving parent of a pup.

With the current news coverage about COVID-19 and pets, you may be wondering what this means for your fur family. As of now, all reputable sources point to there being no risk for dogs contracting the virus.

Our partners at Wellness are offering an amazing opportunity to feed your dog well. They bring more love and goodness to mealtime with any of their delicious and nutritious recipes made just for your dog.

However, there still seems to be a lot of concern for pet parents. Below are several relevant questions and answers to help you better understand the situation:

COVID-19 Q&A

  1. What causes COVID-19?
  2. Should you be concerned about pets spreading COVID-19?
  3. Should pets of people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 be tested?
  4. Can pets serve as a reservoir of the virus and pass it back to us or on to others?
  5. What precautions can pet owners sick with COVID-19 take?
  6. If pets are found to become infected with COVID-19, will they have to be quarantined?
  7. If you have people in the same house—some quarantined, some not—can pets visit both?
  8. What should you be doing right now to protect your pets?
  9. Is there a COVID-19 vaccine for dogs and cats?

1. What causes COVID-19?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of RNA (ribonucleic acid) viruses. They are called coronaviruses because the virus particle exhibits a characteristic ‘corona’ (crown) of spike proteins around its lipid envelope. CoV infections are common in animals and humans. Some strains of CoV are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted between animals and humans, but many strains are not zoonotic.

In humans, CoV can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (caused by MERS-CoV), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (caused by SARS-CoV). Detailed investigations have demonstrated that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civets to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. World Organisation for Animal Health

2. Should you be concerned about pets spreading COVID-19?

While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. There is no reason to think that any animals, including pets in the United States, might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus.

To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

3. Should pets of people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 be tested?

That’s not everybody’s top priority right now. It should be discussed, however, if we start seeing more cases like the Hong Kong Pomeranian. Shelley Rankin, microbiologist at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

4. Can pets serve as a reservoir of the virus and pass it back to us or on to others?

If pets can become infected—and we don’t know if they can—then yes, they could serve as a reservoir. And in that case, we’d need to deal with them the same way we’re dealing with human cases. We’d need to figure out how to treat them. Like human hospitals, vet hospitals would have to be prepared for a surge in the number of cases. Shelley Rankin, microbiologist at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

It’s possible that a person with COVID-19 could sneeze or otherwise contaminate their pet, and then another individual could touch that animal and contract the disease. Veterinary experts believe the risk of transmission would be low. However, animals living with sick individuals should be kept away from other people and animals (quarantined at home), just as people who live with ill individuals must avoid contact with others. University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine 

5. What precautions can pet owners sick with COVID-19 take?

There have not been any reports of a companion or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. Currently, there is no evidence that they play a significant epidemiological role in this human disease. However, because animals and people can sometimes share diseases (known as zoonotic diseases), it is still recommended that people who are sick with COVID-19 limit contact with a companion and other animals until more information is known about the virus.

When handling and caring for animals, basic hygiene measures should always be implemented. This includes hand washing before and after being around or handling animals, their food, or supplies, as well as avoiding kissing, licking, or sharing food.

When possible, people who are sick or under medical attention for COVID-19 should avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of their household care for their animals. If they must look after their pet, they should maintain good hygiene practices and wear a face mask if possible. World Organisation for Animal Health

6. If pets are found to become infected with COVID-19, will they have to be quarantined?

Yes, just like humans, some might be quarantined at a hospital. Or a shelter. Or even a doggy daycare. If they had the virus but weren’t sick, you could quarantine them at home. You’d want to limit your contact with them. Perhaps keep them in a bedroom away from other people and animals. You’d want to wash your hands frequently, and maybe wear a mask when you entered the room. Shelley Rankin, microbiologist at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

7. If you have people in the same house—some quarantined, some not—can the pet visit both?

No. Out of an abundance of caution, the answer should be no. Shelley Rankin, microbiologist at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

8. What should you be doing right now to protect your pets?

It is important to include pets in your family’s preparedness planning. If you get sick and are quarantined, you should make sure you have extra pet food on hand. And you should make your neighbors aware of any feeding, walking, or medications that your pets need in case you can’t make it back home. Get prepared now. Shelley Rankin, microbiologist at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

There is no need for your pet to wear a face mask. It likely will not protect them from disease transmission and may cause breathing difficulties. University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

9. Is there a COVID-19 vaccine for dogs and cats?

There is no vaccine for COVID-19 for at this time, but veterinarians are familiar with other coronaviruses. Similar but different coronavirus species cause several common diseases in domestic animals. Many dogs, for example, are vaccinated for another species of coronavirus (Canine Coronavirus) as puppies. However, this vaccine does not cross protect for COVID-19. University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

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Dog & Baby Play The Cutest Game Of Chase

Crawling babies can get themselves into all sorts of shenanigans. Luckily, little Leo MacDonald has a furry BFF to keep him busy!

Zeus the German Shepherd loves to play chase with his baby human brother, and their home in Enola, Pennsylvania has a perfect layout for their game. The front hallway opens into the kitchen, which opens into the living room, which opens back into the hall, forming a perfect loop.

The video begins mid-game with Zeus striking a playful downward-facing-dog pose. 11-month-old Leo giggles and speed-crawls towards the dog, causing Zeus to bolt around the corner. The young dog quickly emerges from the kitchen, ready to start the cycle again in the opposite direction.

While some babies this age can be a big source of stress for dogs, you can tell from Zeus’ body language that he and Leo are best buds. His tail is up and wagging, his ears are perky, and there is a relaxed smile on his face.

The fact that he keeps coming back for more is another sure sign that Zeus is having a blast!

Is there anything sweeter than a boy and his dog? Leo and Zeus are so lucky they get to grow up together. Just imagine the wonderful adventures they will share together once Leo learns to walk!

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Kaley Cuoco Fosters Senior Dog During COVID Quarantine

Actress Kaley Cuoco has always been a huge animal lover. She has many rescue dogs of her own, and she often encourages her fans to adopt and foster, especially during this coronavirus quarantine. Sadly, dogs need help more than ever right now.

Cuoco knew that she had to do more than just encourage others to help out. So, she decided to foster a dog during her quarantine. She gave a sweet senior Chihuahua a safe place to stay during all the chaos, and she hopes others will do the same.

Meet Dumpy!

Cuoco’s foster dog is a 10-year-old Chihuahua named Dumptruck, Dumpy for short. Dumpy recently arrived at A Purposeful Rescue. When Cuoco expressed interest in fostering him, the staff at the rescue brought him directly to her house. 

Image: A Purposeful Rescue Facebook

Cuoco posted a story on her Instagram to introduce Dumpy to her fans. In the video, the sweet little dog is curled up in a towel after getting a nice bath.

“All he wants to do is be loved and be kissed on. This guy is amazing. I’ll get to know him over the next few days,” said Cuoco. “He’s just a senior old man sweetheart who just wants to chill on the couch and lick your hand.”

Cuoco strongly believes that senior dogs don’t deserve to be in shelters. It’s not okay for them to have to live out their final days without a home. So, Cuoco encourages her fans to adopt Dumpy, and of course, to always adopt other dogs in need too. 

Image: Screenshot, thesun.co.uk

“He just wants a place to live out his old man days,” said Cuoco.

Help Find Dumpy a Home!

Cuoco wants to make sure Dumpy goes to the best home possible. In fact, she’s willing to help Dumpy’s new family get started with his expenses. 

She’s willing to give his adopters $300 to use for all the senior pup’s basic needs. She hopes that will help encourage people to adopt this sweet senior dog. Also, she wants to show everyone how amazing older dogs can be.

Image: A Purposeful Rescue Facebook

So far, Dumpy has been very sweet and loving. He’s gotten along well with all of Cuoco’s dogs, both big and small. However, she hasn’t had Dumpy with her for long, so she still has a lot to learn about him. She will share more about him on her social media as she gets to know him better.

Of course, adopting and fostering are always essential for dogs in need, but now it’s more crucial than ever. Shelters and rescues are struggling to care for all their dogs, and no dog should have to sit in a kennel for the entire quarantine. 

If you are unable to adopt more dogs, always consider fostering if you’re able. Sweet rescue dogs like Dumpy could be the perfect quarantine companions!

Image: @kaleycuoco/Instagram

H/T: thesun.co.uk
Featured Image: A Purposeful Rescue Facebook

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We Could All Learn A Life Lesson From This Blind, Deaf Therapy Dog

As an Australian Shepherd, 10-year-old Willow loves to go to work. But this special boy doesn’t herd sheep. Instead, he offers love and support to nursing home residents, hospital patients, and schoolchildren learning to read.

Willow is a certified therapy dog that just so happens to be uniquely qualified for the job. Born to an irresponsible breeder at a puppy mill, Willow suffered defects that left him both blind and deaf.

Photo via Facebook/Willow the Pet Therapy Dog

According to his owner, Elizabeth Slone, these disadvantages do not get him down. In fact, Willow has a remarkable ability to focus on the positive. As she puts it, “he sees the world, and people, not with his eyes but with his heart.”

Photo via Facebook/Willow the Pet Therapy Dog

Without visual and auditory stimuli to distract him, Willow uses instinct to read a person’s soul. This talent allows him to identify those who need him most.

Whether it is a frightened hospital patient or a lonely senior, the fluffy dog knows just what to do. He curls up by their side, happily presenting his belly for rubs, and suddenly the world is a little brighter.

“Oh my gosh, as soon as Willow walks in their faces light up and smiles just like it makes me smile right now just thinking about em,” Slone told WTVQ News.

Photo via Facebook/Willow the Pet Therapy Dog

He has a similar effect on the insecure children struggling to read aloud in their after-school programs. Not only is he free of judgment, Willow has his own obstacles to overcome. This, combined with his calm, gentle demeanor seems to put the kids at ease.

“It helps them build up their confidence and gets them encouraged to read and develop better reading skills,” Slone said.

Photo via Facebook/Willow the Pet Therapy Dog

While Willow loves all his friends, he does have a special BFF: a 96-year-old World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient. The gentleman is often in and out of the hospital, so Willow makes frequent house calls. 

“He’s just a great dog,” says Slone.

If only we all could see the world with our hearts like Willow!

Slone has even bigger plans for Willow. She hopes to someday turn the story of his life into an animated movie. She is currently working on a script with the working title “Blind.”

H/T to KTVQ News
Featured Image via Facebook/Willow the Pet Therapy Dog

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Dog Has Important Message During COVID Pandemic

Everyone has their concerns during the coronavirus scare, but no one knows the situation better than Pluto. Pluto is a little dog that recently took over the internet with her smart and adorable advice.

Nancie Wight, Pluto’s mom, posted a silly video of Pluto talking about her thoughts on the coronavirus, but from a dog’s perspective. Wight never expected Pluto to be such a huge hit, but now the little dog is famous all over social media. Plus, her advice is very beneficial to people all over the world.

Image: @PlutoLiving/Facebook

Pluto’s Important Message

In Pluto’s first video, she decides to talk about the crisis that humans seem to be facing. She noticed that many humans seem bored and unsure of what to do while they’re stuck at home. So, this smart pup decided to share her advice with the world. Plus, she talks in an adorable chipmunk-like voice.

“We curl up and we wander around. We play with the tennis ball, and there’s lots that you can do,” said Pluto.

Image: Screenshot, @PlutoLiving/Facebook

First of all, Pluto does not understand what the toilet paper crisis is all about. She points out that dogs don’t even need toilet paper. Sure, cats like to play with it, but she explains how dogs are just fine going to the bathroom without it. Maybe humans could learn a thing or two.

Pluto is also very aware of the snack shortage at grocery stores, but she has a flawless solution for that too. She lets humans in on the secret of where she finds the best snacks throughout the day. If you live near a school, then you’re in luck because there are lots of snacks around there!

Pluto’s video has brought joy to so many people during this difficult time. Many people have left comments saying how Pluto made their day. A good laugh is often the best way to get through the hard moments in life.

Image: Screenshot, @PlutoLiving/Facebook

Pluto’s Rise to Fame

Since it was posted, Pluto’s video got over 3 million views! So, Wight decided to make a Facebook page for Pluto. Now, Pluto continues to share more silly videos to brighten people’s spirits during this time of uncertainty.

Wight said that the little dog is actually a senior at about 13 ½ years old. She’s mostly blind and deaf, but she’s still very happy and full of life. Plus, she definitely has common sense and knows how to give good advice.

Image: @PlutoLiving/Facebook

To get Pluto’s mouth to move, her mom just uses an app. However, it really does look like Pluto is talking in the videos. 

“I think Pluto has struck the balance between a little bit of humor and some good practical sense,” said Wight. “A lot of the comments and the private messages were just ‘this was the best thing that happened to me this week. I really needed to just have a good laugh.’”

Pluto will continue to post videos throughout this quarantine to help spread some positivity and humor. You can follow her on Facebook or Instagram. Wight says that a YouTube channel is in the works too.

You can watch Pluto’s first video here:

Pluto would like to address the internets during this time of crisis…UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming response to my charm and wit, I have created my own page so you people on the internets can visit. https://www.facebook.com/PlutoLivingAlso on IG – Pluto.living

Posted by Nancie Wight on Sunday, March 15, 2020

H/T: montreal.citynews.ca
Featured Image: Screenshots, @PlutoLiving/Facebook

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You Helped This Dog Recover After Being Shot And Abandoned

When you purchase items from the iHeartDogs store, a portion of that profit is donated to an incredible organization called Greater Good. Greater Good works hard to help many dogs in need. Thanks to loyal customers like you, lots of dogs get a second chance at life all because of these donations. Dusty is just one of the many dogs that has benefitted from Greater Good!

When Dusty was a 6-month-old puppy, she was not treated with respect. She was found extremely wounded and in desperate need of medical attention. She had been shot 3 times: once above her eye, once in her ear, and once on her back leg. 

The person responsible for this horrific crime had just left the sweet little pup to die. Dusty was found in a tiny wire crate that was designed for a 10-pound dog, not a 30-pound Pit Bull puppy. It’s difficult to imagine why anyone would do such an unforgivable thing to a kind, innocent dog.

Luckily, the Okmulgee County Humane Society came to the rescue. They rushed her to surgery, where they had to remove one of her eyes and several teeth. It was a long healing process for the young puppy, but she was determined to never give up.

Throughout her time at the humane society, Dusty had to go to many vet appointments. Luckily, she had a loving foster home to stay at while she healed. Her foster parents got to see how kind and playful she was throughout the whole healing process. In fact, she’s such a loving dog that you’d never even know she was mistreated in the past!

As Dusty reached the end of her recovery, many kind families were interested in adopting her. The humane society staff looked through the applications carefully to find the home that was most suitable for this special pup. Sure enough, they chose the perfect forever home for Dusty.

Now, Dusty has the kindest mom ever who spoils her as much as possible. She also has an older sister named Bianca who always protects her. She is now full-grown, weighing about 62 pounds! Her life started out rough, but now, she’s living the dream!

“If it were not for GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank, I know our organization would go broke trying to feed the many dogs and cats we rescue every day,” wrote Okmulgee County Humane Society. “With the money we save from Rescue Bank donations, we can get more dogs and cats spayed or neutered and ready for adoption.”

Thanks to purchases from the iHeartDogs store, many dogs like Dusty get a second chance at a happy life. iHeartDogs sells a wide selection of products for both you and your dogs. Every purchase can save a dog’s life, so thank you to all the amazing people who have purchased items to help dogs in need!

Images from Okmulgee Humane Society

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