Dog Runs Away From Home to Find Hospital Where Owner Later Died of Coronavirus

After her owner was hospitalized with coronavirus in Italy, a dog called Stella went searching for him. The 7-year-old German shepherd's owner had been taken into intensive care after becoming ill with the virus, Italian newspaper Il Messagero reported.

Days later, Stella ran away from home and traveled several miles to the Cisanello hospital in Pisa, where her owner later died.

Her story was shared on Facebook by Sportella Tutella Animali, a group based in San Giuliano Terme, a commune in the province of Pisa. "Stella's owner is one of the victims of this virus," the group said in a post on Monday, calling for someone to adopt Stella.

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"Stella is 7 years old and since the day they took her master away she has no peace of mind: she ran away to look for him to the hospital."

In an update, the group said a relative of Stella's owner had decided to adopt her.

The post said: "Stella will have a new family! She will be adopted by a relative of the deceased master, who has proposed to take care of her by offering her a new home and the affection she needs, now more than ever."

But the group added that while Stella has found a new home, other animals are still waiting to be adopted.

"Let's not forget the many other dogs, equally unlucky, with as many sad stories behind them… waiting inside the box of a kennel or shelter for someone who can offer them unconditional love and a new family that welcomes them, making them forget their past suffering," they said in a post.

A view of closed restaurants near Piazza dei Miarcoli on March 17, 2020 in Pisa, Italy. Laura Lezza/Getty Images

Italy is among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic with more than 165,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and more than 21,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 38,000 people have recovered.

After more than a month in lockdown, some parts of the country are starting to ease restrictions although the the worst-hit regions, such as Lombardy and other parts of the north, will keep measures in place for longer.

Italy will remain in lockdown until May 3, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said, but a few businesses, including shops selling books, stationery and children's clothing, have been allowed to reopen. However, strict rules on hygiene and the number of customers permitted inside will apply for all shops allowed to reopen.

This infographic, provided by Statista, shows the spread of COVID-19 cases around the world as of April 15.

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A graphic provided by Statista shows the global spread of the new coronavirus as of early April 15. About two million people have been afflicted, over a quarter of whom have recovered and over 128,000 of whom have died. Statista

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
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World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

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Mask and glove usage

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  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.
Dog Runs Away From Home to Find Hospital Where Owner Later Died of Coronavirus | World