Coronavirus motivated social distancing prompting people to look for animal companionship

A lot of people in the region suddenly found themselves stuck at home and not interacting with others much due to the coronavirus but a lack of human connection is turning into an animal connection.

A flow of people have been taking home pets from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

Only two employees were working on-site on Thursday but the signage outside the building says it all, "because of COVID-19, adoptions will be appointment only."

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People are making those appointments, not only to adopt but to foster pets right now.

FOX 5's Tisha Lewis reports the Animal Welfare League of Arlington is experiencing five times the normal amount of foster inquiries, adoptions are steady and the Animal Welfare League plans to shift to "foster mode" in the coming days.

This is apparently happening at shelters across the Washington, D.C. area including the Humane Rescue Alliance in the District and beyond.


Many shelter employees also working from home.

At the Animal Rescue League of Arlington, FOX 5 has learned people calling about adopting and fostering pets are specifically referencing concern about self-isolation amid social distancing and self-quarantine.

It’s not just cats and dogs being adopted and fostered.

FOX 5's Tisha Lewis interviewed a college student who adopted two guinea pigs.  Her college, like many, went to online classes for the remainder of the semester and she wanted some company.