Around the world, animal shelters are emptying out because of the coronavirus outbreak. People who are confined to their homes are adopting or fostering animals en masse. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the benefit of having a companion animal is tangible. The nonprofit is seeing an increase in people interested in fostering and adopting animals. It has managed to find temporary foster homes for most of its animals.
When you can’t leave your home to socialize, and touch has become taboo, many have felt a need for animal companionship. Considering how anxiety-inducing isolation can be, a mood boost will not go amiss. Having a pet around the house may also help you stick to the strategies likely to help you through this period, like daily exercise and structure. Even if you live with other people, a companion animal can be a better distraction.
Sheltering at home can be the perfect time to bring a shelter animal into your home. In California, where 40 million residents were ordered to stay home except for essential jobs or trips, such as getting groceries, Gov. Gavin Newsom noted an important exemption.
“You can still walk your dog,” he said.
Shelters need the help. Some animal rescue centers in big cities are closing their doors to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus between people, but the animals still need care. Many organizations, hoping to find foster homes for their remaining charges, are still processing requests and handing off animals while closed to the public.
Here is a look at some of the lucky animals and their owners as they shelter in place around the world.
Kirk McKoy is a senior staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times for the past 33 years. Originally from South Carolina, McKoy is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Georgetown University. He is now working at The Times’ Washington, D.C., bureau as an East Coast photographer, editor and correspondent.