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A high-kill Texas animal shelter named a stray dog that’s up for adoption “Covid” — angering animal advocates who said the moniker is “insulting” and would decrease the chances the pup has at getting adopted.
The American Staffordshire and Terrier mix is up for adoption at the Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare pound in northwest Texas where about 20-25 percent of animals are regularly euthanized, data show.
“These dogs need everything to help them get adopted,” Dana Fuchs, a New York-based animal advocate and opinion writer who tracks killings at the shelter, told The Post Monday.
“The name to me is just so insulting to all the people that have died from this illness and from the brutal process of death that this dog is probably going to undergo… you’re mocking what that dog is going to go through and you’re mocking, metaphorically, all the people that have died [from the virus].”
In a photo on the adoption page, the black and white mutt — who has since been renamed amid the backlash — is being held tightly by a leash and the white parts of his coat are visibly soiled and he appears dirty.
Fuchs pointed to the unflattering photo, the pup’s large size and pitbull appearance and said the odds are already stacked against him — she said with a name like Covid, it would haven taken a “miracle” to get him adopted.
“This dog doesn’t have a chance and to mock it with that name, to me it just shows why advocates get so outraged about how these animals are treated,” Fuchs explained.
The photo started making the rounds on Twitter, infuriating animal activists, some of whom said the shelter staff responsible should be fired.
“I’m furious. I think whoever named that poor, frightened pup “Covid” should be fired,” Barbara Stiles wrote.
“Anyone naming an animal “Covid”, especially in a shelter which is trying to adopt out the animals, has no business working there!”
One Twitter denizen questioned if the name was some kind of a joke.
“Is this Texan humor? Pretty sad and appalling. Look at how petrified he is? This poor guy already has the deck stacked against him,” @Vicki_Land503 wrote.
Fuchs said she was “stunned” when she noticed the name Sunday night and on Monday afternoon, it was still visible on the pound’s webpage. Shortly after The Post asked the city of Amarillo for comment, the dog’s name was changed to “Carl” on the adoption page.
A shelter rep told The Post he was still up for grabs Monday afternoon and had been surrendered by his owner. A spokesperson for the town didn’t return a request for comment but the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals came to their defense when asked about it.
“Animal shelters often do everything in their power to draw attention to the dogs and cats in their care, with the goal of placing them into loving homes,” a PETA spokesperson told The Post.
“PETA urges people to remember that shelters are on the frontlines of the homeless animal overpopulation crisis and do a world of good every day—and that whoever adopts this dog can give him a new lease on life and a new name.”