New York City animal shelters are either empty or running out of dogs and cats as people are adopting or fostering them at record rates while self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic. Two shelters, Muddy Paws Rescue and Best Friends Animal Society, are reporting that applications to adopt or foster animals have increased 10-fold in the last two weeks. “For the moment we definitely don’t have any dogs left to match [with foster parents],” Anna Lai, the marketing director at Muddy Paws Rescue, told Bloomberg. “Which is a great problem to have.” 

The trend is not limited to NYC and extends to other areas heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Between March 16 to 20, the Best Friends Animal Society in Atlanta, GA placed 62 dogs and cats into foster care—a notable increase from the shelter’s average of fostered 10 animals per week. “It saves a life and enriches the foster family’s life as well,” Nichole Dandrea, a spokesperson for Best Friends Animal Society, said. “We put out a plea because of the epidemic, and given the fact that folks are working from home now and kids are home from school, a lot of people who have thought about fostering in the past but are never home were able to do it.”

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