The coronavirus pandemic is negatively impacting almost everyone in the world, but on the bright side -- people are looking for furry friends to keep them company during these social distancing days ... especially families with kids and the elderly.
TMZ spoke with people who run animal shelters across the country, and though they are experiencing challenges like everyone else ... the good news is animal lovers are coming in big numbers to adopt and foster pets.
Nikole Bresciani -- CEO of the Inland Valley Humane Society in Pomona, CA -- tells us ... meeting pets and adoptions are by appointment only now and all applications are online as COVID-19 precautions, but folks are still reaching out.
In fact, Nikole says with kids being home from school, there's been an uptick in families reaching out about adding a cat or dog to their lives ... and more scheduled appointments are on the books for the upcoming week.
The same goes for senior citizens. Randa Richter of SPCA Florida tells us ... they've seen at least a 20 percent increase in elderly people looking to adopt a pet because their normal social activities -- like Bingo -- are all canceled. So, Randa says they want a furry friend to pass the time with at home.
Like Nikole, Randa says there's also an abundance of families with children home from school looking to get the kids out ... so they go visit the pets up for adoption and often end up taking them home. Same goes for a couple with no kids working from home, who now want to add another member to their household ... but not a kid.
On top of this, Randa tells us they've had a huge rise in volunteers -- mostly high school kids who can earn credit for volunteering and now have much more free time, and seniors. The volunteer work includes walking dogs, kitty care and cleaning the facilities.
Finally, Jack Hagerman of the Pasadena Humane Society SPCA tells us ... even though it has shut its physical doors to limit staff and the public to coronavirus exposure, it hasn't closed up shop, and the community has stepped up in a big way to find foster homes for all its animals.
Jack says they've had more people than ever -- 368, which again includes families with kids and the elderly -- reach out and offer to foster animals in need now that it has closed.
Jack says it currently has 180 animals including dogs, cats, bunnies, guinea pigs, and even baby squirrels, and fortunately ... so many people are at home and happy to help. He tells us he hopes the foster pets will all find forever homes soon, especially during these trying times.
It would be a win-win for everyone ... and that's desperately needed right now.