If a cat or dog with no place to stay happens to wander by the Guilford County Animal Shelter, well, that animal is in luck.

There is plenty – plenty – of room in the shelter for it to stay. This week, at a meeting between county staff and four commissioners, Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing said that there were just six animals left in the shelter – three cats and three dogs.

In the past at times, the aging shelter at 4525 W. Wendover Ave. in Greensboro has housed hundreds of animals – sometimes more than its rated capacity of 607. However, there’s a silver lining to every cloud, and, thanks to the coronavirus, there are a whole lot of animal lovers stuck at home with nothing but time for companionship with man’s best friend as well as with cats, which some people like.

Guilford County is currently in the early stages of building a new animal shelter a short distance from the current one on 12 acres of land on Guilford College Road and, at the meeting, Commissioner Alan Perdue said that perhaps the county could just stop that $15 million project since there were practically no animals to house. As soon as Perdue said it, he added, “I’m kidding. I’m kidding,” because Perdue, the former Guilford County Emergency Services director, knows that the virus won’t last and likely neither will this current extremely enjoyable period at the animal shelter. Unlike in the past, staff at the shelter have some breathing room and have time for some projects that don’t involve taking care of one animal right after another.

Deputy Guilford County Manager Clarence Grier, who works closely with animal shelter staff, said that many people have been fostering animals during the pandemic.  That program allows people to take animals home for a limited period of time and it does not involve the same commitment as adoption. Of course, hopefully, many of the foster families will fall in love with the dog or cat and keep it once the virus subsides. That pet, however, may wonder in the future why it’s only being walked a couple of times a day rather than the 14 or 15 times a day it’s being walked now.