Pets are playing an important role helping people amid the coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 6:26 PM, May 25, 2020

(WXYZ) — We've heard a lot about heroes during the coronavirus pandemic, but there are some largely unrecognized creatures keeping everyone's spirits up.

Diane Foxen is a NICU nurse in Silicon Valley – but she's also a foster mom for Humane Society Silicon Valley.

She takes care of sick and premature babies professionally, and when she gets home, she's taking care of animals.

When the coronavirus pandemic began, the humane society was sure Foxen wouldn't have time for specialized sick kitten care. Instead, she took in five cats.

Carol Novello is the founder of Mutual Rescue, a group that advocates for animal adoption from shelters and rescue groups.

Mutual Rescue started telling short stories of how shelter animals helped people with all sorts of difficulties. Obesity, suicide, addition, PTSD and more.

"We can find ourselves stressed out in a place of fear and one of the things that so wonderful about a rescue animal is how appreciative they are to have a home," Novello said.

Now, Mutual Rescue is looking for stories like Diane's about how animals are helping people cope during the pandemic.

Mutual Rescue wants people to submit short videos of how their pets have helped them. You can email them to

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