Celebrity chef and daytime TV host Rachael Ray thanked her legion of fans for their support after announcing the death of her dog Isaboo on Instagram Wednesday. Ray and her husband, The Cringe frontman John Cusimano, said their pitbull died in their arms peacefully at their home in the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Ray has been filming new episodes of her show from her home during the coronavirus pandemic, with the help of Cusimano behind the camera.
"Thank you for the love and support," Ray tweeted Thursday morning. "We feel like we have a family bigger then our zip code. Isaboo passed well and her soul must be overflowing with all the positive energy sent to her." Her message came after both Ray and Cusimano shared their sad news with fans on Instagram. In his message, Cusimano said the couple lost "our joy" and she led a "long and beautiful life."
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Ray shared a much longer message, along with a gallery of adorable photos on Instagram. Isaboo was a "pitbull who taught us more about unconditional love, empathy, and understanding of one another than we could have ever imagined," Ray wrote. She asked her fans to support animal shelters like the Animal League because taking home a pet "can help you become a better human being." Fans might also see Isaboo in future Rachael Ray episodes, as she "was our only audience for the shows we've been producing from our home during this strange time." The couple "just felt it right to share that this was the day she left this world and we hope to see her in the next," Ray added.
The North Shore Animal League also shared a heartbreaking tribute to Isaboo and sent their condolences to Ray and Cusimano. "These devoted humanitarians and animal advocates have always been there for people and animals in need," the shelter's statement read. "We know how much Isaboo will be missed by them but, they will have the joyful time they spent with Isaboo and her memory will live on in their hearts forever."
Back in April, Ray announced plans to donate $4 million to COVID-19 relief projects through The Rachael Ray Foundation and her Yum-o! Organization. Half of that will go to animal welfare organizations, including the North Shore Animal League, Best Friends Animal Society and Lost Our Home Rescue. Best Friends Animal Society will also distribute between $25,000 and $50,000 to local organizations. "My overall goal with these donations is to support American families affected during the Covid-19 crisis with assistance for two-legged and four-legged family members," Ray said in a statement at the time. "We felt it was important to help offset the decline in donations organizations have experienced, from a combination of the cancellation of fundraising events and reduced private donations."