Abandoned dog named ‘Covid’ rescued from high-kill shelter
7th May 2021

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A scruffy mutt with the unfortunate name “Covid” has been rescued from a high-kill animal shelter in Texas where he was abandoned.

“He’s just a big ol’ cuddle bug,” Loretta Tebeest, who runs the animal rescue Gracie’s Project and rescued the dog earlier this week, told The Post on Friday.

“He’s about 65 pounds of just muscle and love. He loves to lay in your lap and give you kisses and wag his tail. He’s just the sweetest dog.”

The American Staffordshire and Terrier mix was up for adoption at the Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare pound, where about 20-25 percent of animals are regularly euthanized, earlier this week when infuriated advocates noticed his name was “Covid.” 

Tebeest, who’s been running the rescue with her husband for the last three years, heard about the dog and knew she had to help.

“With a name like that and him being a pittie, all the odds were stacked against him,” Tebeest, 48, told The Post by phone.

“Pitties have a hard time here in Texas anyway because there’s so many of them, we have so many pitties and it’s hard to get them adopted, they’re hard to move but when I saw his face, I said ‘omg we have to save him,’” she recalled.

“Some dogs just talk to you.”

She called the animal shelter, which later changed the dog’s name to Carl, to see if he was still available and ask how he ended up with a name like that.

“They said his owner had actually named him that and he’d been surrendered because he had an ear infection,” Tebeest explained.

“The owners here are so irresponsible, it’s just unreal.”

When she picked him up, Carl was all smiles, kisses and love and following a vet visit, he was given a clean bill of health.

“He’s still a puppy in his mind, he’s just a big ol’ baby, he’s just a laptop, he just wants to lay in your lap and lick you,” Tebeest, who has over 120 dogs currently in her care, said.

While Carl’s previous moniker came as a surprise to animal advocates, Tebeest said it’s actually quite common and she now regularly sees abandoned dogs and cats by the name of Covid and Coronavirus at the pound.

Many of them were adopted during the height of the pandemic to keep people company when stay-at-home orders were in effect but now that residents are going back to work and returning to their regular lives, they’ve decided to give up the pets, Tebeest said.

“The surrenders have been ridiculous in the last two months, I’ve never seen that amount of surrenders and it’s because all these people got animals when they were home and now they’re giving them back,” the advocate explained.

So far, no one has asked to adopt Carl but Tebeest said interested families can head to her rescue’s website, www.graciesproject.com if they want to put in an application.

“He’s just a big baby, I don’t know how anyone could surrender half of the animals they do.”

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