Emily Bates needed some sort of salve for her growing sense of dread.
Her solution: adopting a terrier mix named Frankie.
Heidi Torres needed a coronavirus distraction for her three children -- bored, worried and home from school.
Her answer: fostering Benny, a spaniel mix who'd just been pummeled by a car.
Liz Bridges, far from her Pasadena home, just needed a pal.
So, she took home a 4-week-old stray puppy who was being kept alive -- barely -- by monks on the streets of Talpe, a tiny beach town in southern Sri Lanka.
Across Los Angeles and around the world, in fretful and uncertain times, it sometimes seems as though every cat and mutt is now a therapy pet.
"Dogs are such healers," said Namiko Ishii-Danganan, who just fostered a blue nose pit bull named Sky. "She's a great distraction ... the biggest love bug ever."
Shelter and rescue organizations nationwide are reporting unprecedented interest in fostering and adopting as people who are sheltering in place turn to kittens and puppies, dogs and cats, and here and there a rabbit, for comfort during the coronavirus crisis.
Amid the lockdown, a restless and hard-headed nation has discovered that what it really needs right now is a snuggle and a slurp.