Fighting coronavirus fears and isolation with the love of our pets

by Joan Morris | Published: Mar 27, 2020 7:00 AM via Apple News

Not a lot to be cheery about these days, but if we look around us, we can see lots of love and support from our pets. To honor their eternal loyalty and friendship, here are photos and stories from folks who are finding comfort in their pets.

If you’d like to share a story and photo, email them to Include the pet’s name, your name, the city you live in, and a few sentences on how your pet is helping.


I got my dog, Spotacus, at Humane Society Silicon Valley a couple of months ago because I needed someone to sit in my lap and my cats aren’t lap cats. He’s 22 pounds but still tries to curl up small enough to stay in my lap without falling off.

It’s even more important to have that comfort now that I can’t hug my friends. As a vet, I’m still working, so I’m lucky that I’m still seeing other animals, too.



3 Ways To Get Your Dog To Sleep In On Weekends

We’ve all been there before. After a long week of hard work and fulfilling other responsibilities, all you want to do is turn off your alarm this weekend and sleep in. And so far, it’s going as planned–until you hear them. At 6AM sharp on a Saturday morning, your dog is sitting at your bedside, watching and moaning for you to get up.

Unlike us, our pups have no idea what the weekend means. Dogs are, quite often, creatures of habit. They get accustomed to a routine that we usually set.

If you’re someone who has to wake up at 6AM on the weekdays, that’s exactly what your pup will do, too, even on weekends. But even though they have a set routine, that doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone.

Here are three simple ways you can adjust your pet’s routine and get that extra hour or two of sleep on the weekends.

1. Adjust Your Dog’s Feeding Schedule

Most of the time when our dogs are up bright and early, it’s because of one simple reason–they’re hungry. And when they’re hungry, there’s no chance of you getting any extra winks in.

Pushing your dog’s feeding schedule back by an hour will encourage them to wake up a little later than usual. Adjust both breakfast and dinner times slowly by 15-minute increments every couple of days until you reach an hour’s difference.

Also, try not to feed them as soon as you wake up on weekdays. Wait at least 30 minutes before breakfast time. This will help your pup get used to the idea that it’s not time to eat just because you’re awake, so they may be less inclined to wake you up for food.

2. Exercise Before Bed Time

Another reason your pooch might wake you up early in the morning is because they need to go potty. An easy way to fix this is to let them out right before bedtime. Taking them on long walks during the day will also help tire them out.

According to vets, depending on their breed and overall health, all dogs should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. If it gets too dark in your area, playing fetch in the backyard or doing indoor exercises will also help.

These types of activities will not only empty your pet’s bladder for the night, but it will also tire them out enough that they may wake up later than usual.

3. Make A Perfect Place To Sleep

Wherever your dog sleeps at night, make sure that it’s a place specifically for sleeping. Most dogs are light sleepers and in tune with their sharp senses. That means if sunlight is peeking through the windows where they sleep, it can definitely wake them up.

Make sure you close the drapes in their sleeping room to keep the morning sunlight from waking them up. If your dog is sensitive to sound, make sure your television is off and all their squeaky toys are put away. Playing ambient sounds or soft classical music can help them fall into a deep slumber.

If your dog is being crated, you can cover it with a blanket to keep their sleeping place dark and comfy while they snooze.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Changing Their Routine

There are two basic things to keep in mind before changing any of your dog’s routines.

The first thing to consider is your dog’s age. If they’re a young pup–not even one year old—then it’s best to take them out whenever you hear them crying or when they wake you. Their bladders are still not fully developed, and they need to go more frequently. The same can be said for older dogs who might start to show signs of incontinence.

The other thing to consider is their health. Keep an eye on their frequency of needing to go out, especially during the night. If it seems like your pooch is waking you up at least once every couple of hours, they might have a urinary tract infection or digestive issues and may need a trip to the vet.

No matter what methods you try, hopefully you and your dog will be able to enjoy that extra hour or two of sleep on the weekends!

Does your dog let you sleep in on weekends? Do you have any advice for other pet parents who could use some extra sleep? Let us know in the comments below!


Sex: Female
Breed: Cocker Mix
Age: 2 Years

Olivia is around 2 years old, cocker spaniel mix, 15-20 lbs, perfectly healthy and cute as a button!
Olivia came from Kern County Animal Services, labeled “unadoptable” as too shy, she found herself in the euthanasia room ; where a kind-hearted shelter staff made one last call to our intake and foster coordinator Lucy who rushed to bust her out of there (thank you Lucy!!).

From Olivia’s behavior (shy), we can guess that she grew up in an environment without any human contact. Olivia has spent a few months in foster care now and has made a ton of progress. She is still very shy, but functions great and is a happy gal! She loves her pack of dogs and cats, frequently visits the horses stables, she gets along great with all animals. She loves to go for walks on the leash and is absolutely perfect, she heals by your side and never pulls, she can go for miles and miles in perfect rhythm.

Olivia is playful and curious, and food motivated ; which gives us great tools to help her gain confidence. She will come for treats and likes to go to new places and explore new smells. She is great in the car!
Olivia is still hesitant to quick approach/human touch ; although she loves to snuggle on the couch and watch TV, and enjoys belly rubs. She actually likes to take baths too.

She is crate/pen trained and potty trained ; she uses the doggy door and goes out to do the backyard to do her business or play with the dogs. She has never tried to escape from the backyard and follows closely when out on walks ; but just because she is shy, she wears a location tracker that will be donated if/when she gets adopted, courtesy of her foster mom 🙂

Olivia’s ideal forever home would be with people who are interested in dog psychology and are ready to give her the time she needs to continue to gain confidence and progress her socialization. Dogs like Olivia can be longer term projects for patient people, please do no worry if it takes a few days/weeks before warms up to you, she will reward you 10 fold! We recommend a calm household with no young kids. If you would like to adopt Olivia please apply below today.


Fill out my online form.

Every animal up for adoption at Wisconsin Humane Society finds home amid coronavirus pandemic

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — The Wisconsin Humane Society has been overwhelmed with support for their animals amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Worried they wouldn’t have enough staff and volunteers to care for animals, on Sunday, March 15, WHS asked for the public’s help to foster cats and dogs.

Despite the chaos and uncertainty of the pandemic, WHS said the community stepped up in a big way.

In just five days, 159 animals found a new home, and another 160 animals found foster homes.

“Take a moment to let that sink in… 319 animals are snoozing on couches instead of sitting in kennels,” WHS said in a Facebook post. “We couldn’t possibly express how grateful they are.”

WHS said there is not a single animal available for adoption — they’re all in homes! Of course, WHS said there will be more animals coming in that will need help in the coming days.

For now, WHS will be facilitating adoptions at the Milwaukee and Green Bay campuses by appointment only. Racine, Ozaukee, and Door County campuses are closed at this time.

“We’re so grateful to our community for taking all of these changes in stride. We wish we could thank you all in person, but for now, we send our love virtually. You. are. amazing,” WHS said on Facebook.

If you see an animal you’re interested in helping foster or adopt, CLICK HERE.


Adopt a Dog and Busch Will Give You a Free 3-Month Supply of Beer

Now might be a better time to adopt or foster a pet than you think, the beer brand says.
Mike Pomranz

If you’re lucky enough to have a dog or other pet during self-isolation, they’re likely helping you weather this new era of social distancing, working from home, and ordering all of your dinners and drinks via delivery. But before this coronavirus crisis took over the news cycle, a growing trend was food and beverage companies stepping up to help find homes for dogs—something that’s equally (maybe even more) important now.

Back in November, North Dakota’s Fargo Brewing Company made national headlines by putting photos of adoptable dogs on beer cans. Then, last month, one of the biggest names in beer jumped on the idea: Coors Light ran a program that helped cover dog adoption fees. Earlier this month, a New York pizzeria received attention for partnering with the Niagara SPCA to put rescue dog flyers on pizza boxes. And now, another well-known beer brand is providing a liquid incentive to help out our canine friends during the COVID-19 outbreak: Busch has launched a new “Foster a Dog, Get Beer” program.

Teaming up with Midwest Animal Rescue & Services (MARS), from today (March 25) until April 22, Busch is offering a free three-month supply of beer to anyone who fosters or adopts a dog from the rescue. (It comes out to about two beers per day, according to the brand.) Of course, pet adoption isn’t necessarily an activity you should undertake explicitly to get free alcohol―but if you’ve been seriously considering adopting a dog anyway, why not get some free beer at the same time?

And perhaps more importantly, the campaign also brings attention to the fact that pets are still looking for homes in these turbulent times. MARS points out that now is actually a great time to adopt a “COVID Buddy” if you’re able to―not just because pets can provide companionship but also because many rescues have been forced to close, putting even more dogs in tough situations. So despite a short staff, the Minneapolis-based MARS is continuing to work through this crisis.

“It’s an unprecedented time in our world right now, and when we saw the stories about animal shelters shutting down we wanted to lend our support,” Daniel Blake, vice president of value brands for Anheuser-Busch InBev, told me via email. “A lot of Busch drinkers live in the Midwest, so the Midwest Animal Rescue & Services (MARS) was the perfect partner for us. We know our community will get behind us and answer the call.”

Beyond giving adopters free beer, Busch also kicked off the partnership by donating $25,000 to the shelter. If you’re looking for a pet, Busch says that MARS is largely focused on adoptions in the Midwest, but they do have the capabilities to work nationally.

Pit Bull Dragged His 7-Month-Old Sister By Her Diaper Out Of The Family’s Burning Home

For the most part, babies and dogs are a great combination to have in any home. However, when it comes to dog breeds, Pitbulls are often judged as not being a family-friendly breed. But anyone who’s owned one knows that isn’t true. And one mother in California learned that first-hand after her family underwent a major tragedy.

Latana Chai and her child Masailah were chilling at their home when their neighbor’s house suddenly went up in flames. The fire then began to spread to Latana’s home, but she was completely unaware of the impending danger – until her pitbull Sasha began barking.

Latana heard Sasha making a commotion in the backyard, so she went to investigate. That is when Latana was shocked to see the inferno coming for her home. In the time that it took Latana to process what was happening, Sasha had already dashed into the home and to the back room where baby Masailah was sleeping.

Sasha and Masailah were born around the same time, and their bond was undeniable. As a result, Sasha, who is roughly the same size as the seven-month-old baby, grabbed Masailah by the diaper and began to drag her to safety.

Thanks to this heroic dog, the family has enough of a warning to get out in time and avoid disaster.

Watch the video below:


Sex: Female
Breed: Chihuahua
Age: 1 Year

Welcome Fiona to the Marley’s Mutts foster program! Fiona is a teeny sweet little chihuahua who has to be with her humans at all times. She’s what we like to call a stage five klinger! Fiona wants nothing more than to find her furever home where someone is home all day to be with her. She would also love to go wherever you go too. She is good with other dogs, but is more of a people dog. She is also used to being around kids but is super sensitive and prefers adults since they are slower moving than kiddos tend to be. If you are interested in adopting this wonderful chi, apply to adopt her today!

(Please only fill out an application if you intend on traveling to Bakersfield CA to adopt the dog in person during the Covid-19 shut down. We will make every attempt to limit exposure as much as possible when you come to pick up the dog you are approved to adopt)

Fill out my online form.


Sex: Male
Breed: Pitbull X
Age:  2 years
Welcome to Pawsitive Change Spud!
This hunky dude was found dumped on Comanche, one of several dumping grounds for unwanted dogs in Bakersfield. One of our amazing volunteers picked him up and was so smitten with his fabulous temperament she offered to foster him. While we will never know how or why Spud was left to fend for himself when found he had wounds consistent with bait dog injuries all over his body. He’s healing up beautifully and holds no ill will towards humans or other dogs as a result of his past treatment.
Spud is great with other dogs. Loves all humans  and has a bubbly goofy personality. He’s crate trained and working on his house training skills. He was just approved as a backup dog for our Pawsitive Change program at CalCity Prison. He’ll only go in the event we have to pull another dog out of the program. If you are looking for a sweet, fun and  active pittie Spud is the pup for you! Apply to bring him home.
Fill out my online form.

Big Bear

Sex:  Male
Breed:  Armenian Gampr
Age:  2 Yers
We are happy to introduce Bear who is a very lovable giant and has wound his way into the hearts of his foster parents. Bear is an approximately 3-year-old Anatolian Shepard/Armenian Gampr mix who found his way into a shelter in the Kern County area. He is approximately 130 pounds, but needs to put on some weight and likely will be closer to 140 pounds when filled out. Bear is currently living with 3 dogs and has experienced 2 other fosters while staying in his foster home. He gets along well with everyone and has been very social. He actually wants to play with the dogs, but due to his size the other dogs are intimidated and don’t reciprocate. He likes playing with the humans as well: he will butt tuck around the yard, chase a ball and just have a solid good time. He has been great with all the people who have come over to the house -though he needs to warm up on his own terms and time. Bear is neutered, up to date on all shots, has a microchip, has been dewormed and is flea/tick free. He had a vet visit and was found to be healthy. He did very well with the veterinarian and all the people he met on his outing that day. We also got an oil change and car wash during this outing and he did very well sitting in the lobbies meeting people or just being respectful and leaving people alone. It is very clear that he is not used to “urban” experiences, but handled everything with stride. We highly recommend that you read up on the Armenian Gampr to understand their personality traits -he is VERY true to form. Bear is suspicious of all strangers at first, but he is not aggressive. He is clearly not comfortable with some people, but is never a threat. During his five hour social outing, he did very well and people loved seeing him and learning about his breed – but he is definitely not a Lab with expressive tail wagging and you need to respect and accept the Gampr traits as they are not going to be trained out of him – they are part of his DNA. Bear is kennel trained and x-pen trained (sleeps there at night). He is actually a very good with all confinement. He is content to stay behind a 5 foot chain link fence even though he can stand up and look over it quite easily. He has not been a chewer or gotten into anything. He likes long walks and will need these daily. He likes to hang around with people while they are working around the house and is a great garage dog – he is not afraid of loud sounds like motorcycles. He does have guardian instints which are normal for his breed which means he will bark at noisy neighbors and does not care for “fence-fighting dogs.” Based on this, we recommend a home that has block walls or property that does not butt up to other neighbors. It is likely he will get used to some “noisy urban sounds,” but he is clearly better off being a bit more removed from a “city” life. Bear appears housebroken with no accidents in his foster home or on outings. He is great in the car – very calm. He is good on leash meeting dogs and people – he is respectful when passing other dogs and will obey your commands to ignore them. He has been great with our two cats – very easy going around them and they are comfortable with him. He has no food aggression with humans and lets you take bones and food away easily. He is a very large dog at 130 pounds (no fat) – sometimes he will swing a paw when he is excited and it can be a bit overwhelming – for that reason, we will not place Bear with kids under the age of 15, seniors that could be knocked down easily or novice dog owners. Bear is eating approximately 8 cups of food a day – a family would need to ensure they are giving him enough food as he is underweight at this point due to his former owners not feeding him enough. Bear was awesome for his bath, was great at letting his foster parent clip his nails with no restraint, cleaning his ears and overall being handled in every way. Bear has been a very special dog with his family who is highly facial expressive and very comical. Anyone considering adopting Bear needs to ensure they fully understand the Armenian Gampr breed and it fits appropriately into their lifestyle.


Sex:  Female
Breed: Lab Mix
Age:  10.5 Years
Welcome Mercedes to the Marley’s Mutts family!  Mercedes had lived her entire life at a ranch in a kennel along with 170 other dogs.  Needless to say this girl didn’t have much in the way of affection and attention or socialization until we took her into foster care.  She is learning so much at her foster mom’s ranch and has met other dogs, cats and rabbits.  She’s not a fan of any of them at this point and we think a home without cats or small furry creatures would be best for her.  Mercedes will tolerate other older dogs who give her space and doesn’t try to steal her kibbles at dinner time.  She is now opening up and starting to enjoy pets, cuddles and affection from her humans.  She is housebroken, walks great on a leash and also comes when called.  Mercedes is a very good older girl who just wants to soak in the sun on a nice soft bed in a quiet home for the rest of her life.  If you think your home is the perfect one for this ol’ gal, then please apply to adopt her today!