(CNN)Fuzzy, furry friends are filling our homes since the lockdowns due to cornoravirus began in early March.
Over the last two months, the numbers of people fostering cats and dogs have risen dramatically over the same period last year.
"About 40% of all of the shelter population in the country are in foster homes right now, and that represents a current reality of about 60 to 90,000 animals, which is huge," said Julie Castle, chief executive officer for Best Friends Animal Society, which helped launch the no kill movement in the United States.
Those numbers are based on data gathered by 24PetWatch, a pet insurance company that provides a weekly snapshot of over 1,100 animal welfare organizations around the country.
Adoptions, while down due to the closing of shelters, may be starting to rise as well, Castle said, perhaps a result of people falling in love with their foster pets and giving them forever homes.
In the Best Friends no-kill shelter in Salt Lake City, 46% of foster applicants said they were interested in potentially adopting. If they follow through — and that attitude is replicated across the US and other countries where there's been an uptick in fostering — it could be a huge win for homeless animals everywhere.
But if that doesn't happen and people begin returning foster pets as they return to work, the impact on shelters already strapped by a lack of funds could be devastating.