After inspiring millions of Americans to adopt a healthy and appropriate COVID-19 behaviour, United State‘s top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci is now an inspiration for pet owners, who named their new corona-period pets after him. 

Dr Fauci’s popularity in the times of COVID has increased three-fold after he made several appearances in media and from the White House to give significant COVID-related information. As a result, the name ‘Fauci’ has made its way to the pet glossary. 

Also Read: America may get its own COVID variant, Anthony Fauci warns

One of the early adopters of this Fauci pet trend was ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ actor Jennie Garth, who named her rescue dog, a  Chihuahua ‘Fauci’ in September 2020. The actor later revealed that she picked the name as the dog looks like Dr Fauci. 

As per media reports, the pet name ‘Fauci’ had reached significant prominence by November 2020. A pet data site, Rover also revealed that the pet name Fauci had received an honourable mention on its latest list. Apart from Fauci, other COVID-related pet names like Covid and Rona also witnessed a growth in popularity.

Another pet site Trupanion also reported a growth in pets named Fauci, as well as after COVID-related terms.

In December, another proud Fauci parent, former congresswoman Donna Shalala’s dog by the name of Fauci went viral after he made a surprise appearance during a live television interview.

On being asked why she named her rescue dog Fauci, Shalala, who also knows the real Dr Fauci told Washington Post, “He’s resilient with a happy face and my dog has Tony’s personality completely. He only barks at huge dogs.”

While naming a harmless creature after a prominent personality is a great gesture, many might think that naming a doctor after a great health expert is disrespectful. To this, many owners say they chose the name to honor the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as well as their furry friends.

Hilary Mauro, who pets a Cavapoochon puppy named Fauci told The Washington Post, “everyone cracks up and loves the name when I walk the dog in Manhattan.”

Also Read: Anthony Fauci blames unvaccinated population for US COVID surge

As far as Dr Fauci’s opinion is considered about his furry namesakes, the NIAID director told The Washington Post that he isn’t necessarily flattered but finds the phenomenon interesting. 

“I don’t think I feel flattery about it, just think it’s kind of interesting,” said Dr Fauci.

The health expert also acknowledged that having a dog in these testing times is a great relief and precious.