(CNN)For New Yorkers who have made a cliche out of lamenting that they don't have time to take care of a dog, recent isolation guidelines have had at least one upside: dog time.
Demand for dogs right now is "totally unprecedented," said Sarah Brasky, the founder and executive director of Foster Dogs Inc., a New York-based nonprofit that connects animal rescue organizations with adopters and fosters.
Foster Dogs has seen a more than 1,000% increase in foster applications this month in the New York area — the epicenter of the US outbreak — compared with the same month in 2019, Brasky said. Muddy Paws Rescue, a New York nonprofit, normally sees about 100 foster applications a month, but in just the past two weeks it's received close to 1,000, said Anna Lai, the organization's marketing director
"Everybody who has ever wanted to foster or adopt is suddenly much more available," Brasky said.
New Yorkers — as well as roughly half of all US residents — have been urged to work from home, avoid bars, restaurants or any large gatherings, and exercise social distancing. Walking the dog outside while keeping your distance from others, however, is still considered safe.