4 Dogs Whose Owners Died of COVID Are Searching for a New Home 'Together'

Naledi Ushe
·3 min read

Four dogs lost their human family to COVID-19 and are in search of a new home.

Pets Oliver, 5, Winston, 5, Isabelle, 4, and Izzy, 6, were brought to the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals "to temporarily help their owners who were affected by COVID," the organization wrote on Facebook.

The dog's owner – Jennifer Stien – was hospitalized with severe symptoms and asked her father Barry Stien to care for the dogs. Barry was also battling COVID-19, but he was doing so from home.

"Normal day-to-day care of the dogs became impossible for him and although difficult to part with his daughter's dogs (her babies), he knew [bringing to animals to the Nassau County SPCA] was the only way he could get better and help his daughter recover," the center wrote.

RELATED: Ancient Dog Bone Found in Alaska Suggests Early Humans Migrated to the Americas with Their Dogs

They added, "We assured him they would be waiting right here for her when she got released from the hospital."

A Nassau SPCA rep tells PEOPLE, "He just couldn't care for them anymore, he was having trouble breathing just getting the dogs out to us."

Nassau County SPCA

Unfortunately, the father's health rapidly declined and he died "a few days" after temporarily surrendering the animals.

"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 SPCA said.

Nassau SPCA

The organization added, "It breaks our hearts when we look into their little faces and they are asking when they could go home, but we are determined to keep those tails wagging."

A rep for the Nassau SPCA tells PEOPLE, "This case was just very hard because it was just the daughter and father and that was it. It was just her, the dad and the dogs."

"Now we have these amazing sweet dogs – hopefully, we can get a home that will take all four of them," the rep adds. "We are trying."

The organization is also asking for donations for the care of Oliver, Winston, Isabelle and Izzy.

"This is the first instance we've had an entire family die, and these pets have nowhere to go," Nassau SPCA President Gary Rogers told CBS New York. "They've lost their pet parents, and they are out of their home. And this is the side of COVID that nobody looks at."

Rodgers added that the SPCA is "hoping to try to get all four of them in together" with one family.

RELATED VIDEO: Miley Cyrus Rescues New Dog Angel After Death of Her Pit Bull Mix: 'Head Over Heels in Love'

Miley Cyrus Rescues New Dog Angel After Death of Her Pit Bull Mix: 'Head Over Heels in Love'

"Not sure I will ever sleep again because I can't take my eyes off of her!" the singer said of her new pup Angel

The Nassau SPCA has helped many pet owners throughout the pandemic.

"We've gotten a lot of families who need help financially with not being employed at the moment or losing their job – but our main thing is just helping families financially with medical care, lifesaving medical care for their dogs that they can't afford or providing food," the rep tells PEOPLE.

The rep added that they've also helped temporarily house animals of families who "need time to get back on their feet" due to losing their home amid the pandemic.

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 the 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.