The 5-year-old chihuahua, named Chloe, was surrendered to MSPCA-Angell after her owner died
Dog Whose Owner Died of COVID-19 Needs a New Home
Credit: Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Chloe, a 5-year-old chihuahua, is looking for a new home after her owner died of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Chloe, described as shy and friendly, was surrendered from a home in Brockton, Massachusetts, and arrived at MSPCA-Angell’s Boston adoption center on April 17, according to a release from the MSCPA.

After Chloe arrived, the shelter’s staff discovered a metal plate attached to the bones of the dog’s right front leg, leftover from a 2016 surgery, that should have been removed when the leg healed. The shelter’s staff is concerned about the potential implications of the plate being left on and caution she may need to have the leg amputated.

“We’ve scheduled an x-ray for later today and based on the result of that we’ll know if we can safely remove the plate,” Anna Rafferty-Arnold, associate director of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center, said in the release.

If it cannot be removed, Chloe will have her leg amputated and the bills will be paid for by the MSPCA’’ Spike Fund, which covers medical care for homeless animals in the area.

Dog Whose Owner Died of COVID-19 Needs a New Home
Chloe with Petra Raposo of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center
| Credit: Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Though pet surrenders to MSPCA’s centers are currently low, director of adoption centers and programs Mike Keiley said they are preparing for an influx in the coming weeks as the coronavirus continues to spread.

“We are bracing for a wave of COVID-19 surrenders in the coming weeks as both the disease — and the economic fallout associated with it — bite deeper in Massachusetts,” he said in the release.

The adoption center encourages anyone interested in adopting Chloe to contact them directly at 617-522-5055.

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Many animal shelters across the country are urging people to adopt or foster pets during the pandemic to both ease the loneliness brought on by social distancing and to help shelters suffering from a lag in adoptions, an increase in intakes, and limited resources.

The Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the American Veterinary Medical Association have all stated that there is no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 to humans.

“If you don’t have a pet and are thinking about getting one, now is the perfect time to ‘try it on’ by fostering from your local shelter. Shelters and pet adoption facilities nationwide need people to foster pets on a temporary basis,” Julie Castle the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, told PEOPLE.

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