Clear the Shelters: Pet Adoption 101

Clear the Shelters

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — For the third year, 10 On Your Side is partnering with 15 area shelters for “Clear the Shelters,” a nationwide campaign to get as many animals adopted as possible. For the next month, we’ll be bringing you stories from shelters in our region.

The spring and summer months mean baby season for animals, which leads to overcrowded shelters.

Bringing an animal into your home is a big decision, so 10 On Your Side visited the Suffolk Animal Care Center to learn more about it.

There’s something for everyone inside the Suffolk Animal Care Center.

“Pretty much anything you’re looking for, you can find it in a shelter,” said Laurie Brittle, the shelter manager.

Brittle says the warm weather means baby season, which means crowded facilities.

“There are so many homeless animals right now in all the shelters. All the Hampton Roads shelters are full,” she said.

Full shelters mean a lot of animals are looking for their forever homes. Brittle said, “A lot of times, they’ll wait a long time in the shelter and we’re known as their family.”

If you decide to adopt, you want to make sure you’re ready to take an animal in. The first thing you should do is some research. What kind of breed do you want? What restrictions do you have?

“If you have an apartment or a small house, some dogs do require a lot of exercise and there are some breed restrictions also,” said Brittle.

After doing research, be sure to visit the shelter. After all, there is no one who knows the animals better than the shelter staff.

“If you have other pets at home, we encourage you to bring those pets just to ensure its going to be a good match,” Brittle said. “We see them when they come in, we are with them everyday, multiple times throughout the day. We see how they interact with people, with other animals.”

Staff can help point you in the right direction and make sure the pet you’re choosing to adopt is a good fit.

Brittle said, “When you get a pet, it should be a lifetime commitment, so just be prepared for that.”

Having supplies before the pet arrives is also good to do.

“If it’s going to be a cat, obviously you’re going to need your cat litter box,” said Brittle. “Litter, food, any toys that you might need. Dogs, same thing. Toys, your food, a crate.”

Click here for a list of shelters participating in this year’s Clear the Shelters campaign.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Nearly 700 shelters across the country are teaming up with NBC Owned Television Stations and Telemundo for Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive.

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