The first dog to test positive for the coronavirus in the U.S. has died, National Geographic reported Wednesday.
The German shepherd, which was named Buddy and lived with his owners at a home in Staten Island, N.Y., died on July 11, according to the magazine.
The Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories announced in early June the first confirmed case of a dog contracting the virus in the U.S., but details were not made public.
Buddy began struggling to breathe in the middle of April, right before his seventh birthday. He also likely had lymphoma, a type of cancer, National Geographic, reported citing medical records provided by his owners and reviewed by two veterinarians not involved in the dog’s treatment.
Buddy’s owners, the Mahoney family, told the news outlet they are frustrated health experts didn’t more closely probe possible connections between COVID-19 and Buddy’s health problems.
They also described a confusing process, as fewer than 25 pets have been confirmed to have coronavirus in the U.S., while more than 4 million Americans have been infected.
“You tell people that your dog was positive, and they look at you [as if you have] ten heads,” Allison Mahoney told National Geographic. “[Buddy] was the love of our lives. … He brought joy to everybody. I can’t wrap my head around it.”