Families isolating at home due to coronavirus are adopting pets at much higher rate

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – With stay-at-home orders in place across South Florida, more and more families are opening their homes to new pets.

Wet noses and friendly sniffs are a welcome change from all the social distancing.

"We’ve been so excited, because we’ve had the community come out for our pets," said Lisa Mendheim with Broward Animal Care and Adoption.

At Broward County Animal Care, there’s been a steady stream of people adopting pets.

Maybe there’s something about a furry friend that makes us feel better in quarantine.

In fact, headlines show shelters across the U.S. are reporting a rise in adoptions and fostering.

"I think there’s an uptick because people are indeed home," said Mendheim. "They have more time to dedicate to a pet."

At the shelter here dogs still need to be adopted but the process is a little different now.

"It’s all virtual," said Mendheim. "Nobody is coming in here and looking around traditionally like they normally do."

Potential pet parents fill out an application online before having a phone conference with shelter staff. If the potential pet owners are serious, they arrange for a meet and greet.

Once they decide to adopt or foster, their new furry friend is brought to their car outside.

“I think it’s just goodwill that’s going on right now,” Mendheim said. “People realize there are pets in need, and they’re willing to help.”

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