A toy poodle who was found scared and shaking after two of her Jersey Shore owners died of the coronavirus is winning hearts around the world.
A Neptune City family surrendered Che-Che to the Monmouth County SPCA after COVID-19 killed a father and uncle a week apart earlier this month.
Dennis and James Traverso, both in their 70s, left behind four dogs, family members said. While they're able to care for the others, they asked the SPCA to find a home for Che-Che.
The precious 9-pound pup was “scared and shaking when she arrived," the Eatontown-based shelter reported. "[W]e can't imagine what it's like for a dog like her to suddenly lose everything she's ever known and then end up in an unfamiliar place.
“Our staff knew Che-Che needed some comfort and even through our PPE, we could tell a loving touch was all it took to help her to feel safe."
Che-Che has already gotten a full checkup, vaccines, a warm bubble bath (of course) and all the traditional and social media attention a shelter could want.
“Good Morning America” and People magazine are among many news outlets who have produced features. A Monmouth County SPCA Facebook post blew up.
With Che-Che almost ready for a new home, shelter officials are proceeding cautiously.
“We can only consider those applicants without children or other pets to adopt her,” they said, adding that applications are being reviewed on a first-come, first-serve, appointment-only basis.
“Unfortunately, with our limited staff, we will not be able to return every email and phone call,” shelter officials said.
Once Che-Che is ready, they promised, "we plan to honor the family and those they lost by finding this sweet little girl the perfect home."
Che-Che isn’t the only pet who needs what the SPCA says is “a save haven in these uncertain times.”
For that reason, an anonymous benefactor has agreed to match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $200,000 during the Monmouth shelter’s “Compassion Counts” matching gift campaign.
All of the money will go to help abandoned animals who need veterinary care in order to be adopted, SPCA officials said.
And in case you were wondering: The Centers for Disease Control, and the American Veterinary Medical Association are among the expert agencies who have said that pets aren’t at risk of spreading the coronavirus.
They actually might be good for you now more than ever.
MORE INFO: Monmouth County SPCA
TO DONATE: "Compassion Counts" Matching Gift Challenge
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