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Two dogs going for a walk outside the Animal Rescue of New Orleans on March 24. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Animal shelters and rescue organizations across the United States say their kennels are empty, as Americans take advantage of days spent at home during the coronavirus outbreak by adopting pets.

Why it matters: With fewer animals in their kennels, shelters don't have to resort to euthanasia to make room for new litters or strays.

The big picture: Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told NBC News that the organization has seen a 70% jump in animals entering foster homes in its New York City and Los Angeles programs compared to last year.

  • Vice President at the Pasadena Humane Society Jack Hagerman told the Los Angeles Times that his shelter has seen a “massive uptick” in interest for pet adoption, adding that 1,451 people asked to foster animals after the organization sent its first plea for volunteers.
  • Animal Care Centers of New York City told the New York Times that 2,000 people applied for the 200 empty slots in its foster program.
  • In Florida, Friends of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control reported empty kennels for the first time in the shelter's history, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Yes, but: Many shelters are also bracing for increases in owner surrenders or stray intakes as the virus infects and kills more people and harms the economy.

  • "We don’t know what will happen as the numbers of sick and deceased increases, nor do we know what impact the financial stresses might have," Jim Tedford, president and CEO of the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, told USA Today. "But for now we’ve seen communities step up and help reduce shelter populations rather than the other way around."

Go deeper: The environmental impact of Fluffy and Rover

Go deeper

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.