Sign In

Coronavirus: Dog owner tackles self-isolation loneliness by taking pet to visit neighbours

March 30, 2020

A dog owner is taking her pet bulldog to visit neighbours to help battle self-isolation during the coronavirus outbreak.

Jenny Bromfield visits neighbours’ houses with her American bulldog Rocky who provides a welcome distraction for those stuck inside their homes.

The 37-year-old says Rocky gives out plenty of hugs and attention to those most in need.

Bromfield, a former business development executive, first offered Rocky’s services to the public by posting a message to the Middlesbrough Covid-19 mutual aid Facebook page on 17 March.

Since then, she has visited three people and says she is determined to do whatever she can to help during the national crisis.

“Helping other people makes me feel like a valuable member of the community,” Bromfield says of her decision to help people in self-isolation.

“I’m so proud of how social he is and I feel so much better in myself, knowing that I can help people get through their isolation periods a little easier,” she adds.

Bromfield says it was love at first sight when first meeting Rocky at the Dogs‘ Trust in Darlington two years ago when he was just 11 months old.

“He encouraged me to get out of the house when I was self-isolating as a result of my mental health issues so I know how important his visits will be to others,” Bromfield explains.

“He saved me every day.”

The most recent visit for Bromfield and Rocky was Lizzie Robinson, 33, who is self-isolating following advice from her doctor.

On visits, Bromfield waits outside their houses for up to 45 minutes while those self-isolating spend time with Rocky on their doorsteps. The pooch is very attached to his owner so she stays close to him.

Lizzie said: “The visit from Rocky really cheered me up in these uncertain times.

“He’s just a big bundle of fun and happiness.

“I was feeling quite down and anxious before Rocky came, and then while he was here and after he left I feel much better.

“My mood has lifted – he made me smile and laugh that’s for sure.”

The World Health Organisation has confirmed that pets can not catch or pass on the virus, but the Pets Dispensary for Sick Animals said that while there is no evidence of animals spreading Covid-19 to people, it is always sensible to avoid letting your pet lick your face.


Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Former Victoria man’s diabetic alert dog helps him get back to life

    When Luke Hengen’s diabetes worsened in his early twenties, it stripped him of the outdoor activities where the country kid felt at home. Countless wilderness adventures and years of hard-fought football games took a toll on his body, to the point where he could no longer sense when his blood sugar was too high or […]

    Read more

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more