NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Over 100 animals- dogs, cats, bunnies, and even gerbils are waiting to meet you at the Norfolk SPCA.
Executive Director Kimberly Sherlaw and her puppy sidekick say it’s been a roller coaster of a year at the shelter with the pandemic.
“Into the start of the year, things were going well but what we’re seeing now is a decline in multiple areas. There was almost a 42 percent drop in adoptions which is very substantial,” said Sherlaw.
That’s over 250 animals which is especially hard because this shelter often takes in transfers from all over the country to save as many lives as possible. She credits the drop to more distractions now than in early 2020– now they’re overcapacity.
“I think people are getting back to normalcy a bit, they have other obligations,” she said.
It’s not just the slowdown of foot traffic they are having to overcome, despite having a very dedicated staff, Sherlaw says they have several jobs open from medical coordinator to administration positions.
“Where we’re struggling now is hiring additional folks there seem to be opportunities out there but a lack of individuals who are interested in working in animal welfare right now,” said Sherlaw.
Of the adoptable dogs was senior pup, Henry.
“He’s one of the older dogs at the shelter we have right now. He’s about 7 and he’s the definition of a chill couch potato. He loves all other dogs, he’s done multiple playgroups,” said one SPCA worker.
Henry is also potty trained and good with cats. Despite the hound stereotype, he’s only vocal when he’s hungry.
If you’re looking for a pup a little younger, look no further than 6-month-old Hugo a transport from Mississippi.
“He’s very very outgoing once he gets comfortable it’s still pretty scary because if you think they were on a plane come here but now he’s decided we’re all best friends,” shelter officials said.
He loves his belly rubs and is looking for his forever home.
If you think you could open your heart to any of these loving animals, the Norfolk SPCA is running a 20 percent discount during the Clear The Shelters campaign.