The Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is asking for the public’s help to place four dogs who lost their entire family to COVID-19.
The dogs, Oliver, 5, Winston, 5, Isabelle, 4, and Izzy, 6, of Long Island, were brought to the facility for what was supposed to be a temporary stay. Their owner, Jennifer Stien, was hospitalized with severe coronavirus symptoms and asked her dad to take care of the dogs until she could be released.
Her dad, Barry Stien, was also fighting the virus. The routine everyday care of four dogs grew to be too much, so he brought the pets to the shelter until their family recovered.
“He just couldn’t care for them anymore; he was having trouble breathing just getting the dogs out to us,” a rep for the Nassau County SPCA told PEOPLE.
A few days after surrendering the dogs, the father’s health deteriorated further, and he passed away. The hope was for them to return to Jennifer eventually, but sadly she also passed away from coronavirus.
“We were all so hopeful the daughter would recover, and she would have her babies to come home to. Unfortunately, that reunion will never happen as Oliver, Winston, Isabel, and Izzy lost their mom this past week. They’ve lost everything,” the shelter wrote in a Facebook post.
Nassau SPCA President Gary Rogers told CBS New York that they are hoping “to try to get all four of them in together” with one family. The organization is also asking the public for donations to help care for the dogs.