The rescue is collecting names by asking people in their community to nominate heroes

By Georgia Slater
April 17, 2020 04:12 PM
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Hearts & Bones Rescue

This New York City dog rescue has found a heartwarming way to honor those working on the frontlines of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As a way to say thank you, Hearts & Bones Rescue is naming all of the dogs they’re rescuing after real-life health heroes, including doctors, EMTs, physician assistants, police officers, and veterinarians, the rescue tells PEOPLE.

The nonprofit, which is based in New York City and Texas, is collecting names for the rescues by asking people in their community to nominate their own heroes battling the pandemic.

On the rescue’s website and Instagram page, there is a link where community members can nominate their heroes, share where the person works and describe what they do.

Hearts & Bones Rescue

The rescue will then reach out to the hero to ask for permission to name a rescue dog after them.

“The stories we’ve received have been so heartwarming, and the nominees have been so happy to have a dog named in their honor!” a spokesperson for the rescue tells PEOPLE.

While the rescue noted that they may not be able to use all names depending on the number of nominations, they have already named several of their adorable pups after health heroes, all of whom can be seen on the rescue’s Instagram page.

Hearts & Bones Rescue
Hearts & Bones Rescue
Hearts & Bones Rescue

Each bio notes a little bit about the dog and follows with a short bio about the worker they’re named for.

For example, one bio reads, “Medic Montesino is an 8-month-old hound mix named after an NYC paramedic who puts his life on the line every day to respond to the incredible number of emergency calls in the city. He comes home exhausted, but his wife tells us he’s an amazing dad to their 3 kids and Hearts & Bones dog Loki.”

The nonprofit also recently rescued a beagle, who they named after an NYPD member, Officer Shawn.

Officer Shawn “works tirelessly every day to keep New Yorkers safe, and has been helping bring COVID patients to hospitals to get the care they need,” his bio reads.

Hearts & Bones Rescue

Other dogs include Nurse Ali, Physician Assistant Beka, Dr. Zhang, and Nurse Lauren.

Since the pandemic started, fostering and adopting pets has become extremely popular as more people are spending time at home in self-isolation.

“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 last month.

The choice to foster an animal during this time will also greatly help your local shelter, which is likely suffering from a lag in adoptions, an increase in intakes and limited resources.

“Animal shelters across the country are having to deal with an increase of dogs and cats in need of homes because fewer people are visiting shelters right now, and in some cases, shelters are having to temporarily close to the public,” Castle added. “Some animal shelters are already seeing an increase in intake, and many are bracing themselves for the possibility of fewer adoptions and fewer foster homes, and are concerned about limited space.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.