I know the title seems like an oxymoron but as it relates to animals there is a benefit of the coronavirus—more people are adopting and fostering pets, specifically dogs. New York city, the epicenter of the coronavirus in the US, now has a shortage of dogs for adoption and fostering. Applications to adopt in NYC surged 10-fold in the first few weeks of quarantine. Los Angeles has seen a similar trend. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in Maryland said they normally find homes for around 15 dogs during adoption events but recently they had 30 adoptions in just three hours.

Why is this happening you might ask? Everyone is at home with a little extra time and attention to share and many people, especially those living alone, are looking for companionship to fight off those lonely days. A nuclear scientist from Berkley said she also likes having a dog around to keep her on schedule—wake up early to feed and exercise them, breaks throughout the day, etc. Dogs can fill many voids in our lives and especially at a time like the present where we have more time to spare.

I count myself among the recent statistic. I’m quarantined at home with my wife and kids, we have extra time to take on new projects and tasks, so we signed up to be a foster parent for RSQ Dogs+, one of our local rescue centers and one that Collaroy already supports through monetary means. Two litters of puppies had just come in for a total of 16 puppies at the shelter. We’re not entirely certain what the mix of breeds was but definitely border collie, Australian shephard and some blue heeler. We decided we could handle a few and we wanted to make sure the puppies had a home to stay in so we brought home three to our house. In the first 10 days of becoming a foster parent we had five different puppies in our house, and all were adopted.

What was possibly most surprising for me was the joy, not heartache, of seeing each puppy find its forever home. One of the more rambunctious puppies, Clover, went for three different meet and greets but wasn’t chosen (obviously) on the first two. When she was selected that third time I was overjoyed. It was like a proud parenting moment. We had bathed her, put a nice collar on her, tried to make her as adorable as possible and she was chosen!

It was also wonderful to meet (from a distance) each adopting family, hear their stories and get to know them as they embark on their own dog journeys. Each had different reasons for getting a dog but all mentioned something about the virus pushing them a little more than they were before.

So, while the coronavirus is a serious, difficult, life altering event right now, we can look for the positives within the dark clouds around us. I for one have seen five adorable puppies find forever homes. Life is still good. We will get through this.