Norfolk Animal Care Center at capacity; needs adopters and fosters


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk’s animal shelter is at full capacity and needs residents to adopt or foster animals.

The Norfolk Animal Care Center is usually busy during the summer months, but operations manager Jen Held says it’s the busiest they’ve been since mid-pandemic.

“We have all the animals, that’s for sure,” she said. “We’re completely full on dogs. Our adoption floor for cats is full. We have over 10 hamsters, a guinea pig, a rooster’s here. We have all species you can think of ready to go home.”

Held says they have around 60 to 70 dogs and 70 to 80 cats. Many of their animals right now are strays and they hope to reunite them with their families.

Being at full capacity can be hard on everyone around so they’re working to clear the shelters.

“We try to go above and beyond with our care but it is more stressful on staff, volunteers, fosters, and everybody. We want to help as many animals as we can. We do a lot more cleaning. We’re doing more adoption counseling. We’re trying to get more animals out into homes whether it’s foster, reuniting, or adoption,” she said.

The shelter is not the only one in Hampton Roads that’s busy.

The Portsmouth Humane Society released a statement saying they were seeing an increase in their shelter due to reinstatement of the eviction moratorium.

Held says they offer temporary fostering for pets up to 90 days if owners are having financial difficulties.

She also believes they’ve seen an increase with more places opening back up and people heading back to work.

“The summer is always tough but all the shelters are in the same predicament,” she said. “And we try to work together but we are all full. So it’s hard to have these partnerships and work together when we’re all in the same boat.”

That’s why they’re waiving reclaim fees in hopes of people, who may be having financial difficulties, reuniting with their pets. Held says they have a number of resources available including pet pantries, low cost surgical options, and vaccines.

“If finances are an issue, we want to reunite them with their family. If you are missing an animal, we want to make sure you need help with food or anything like that, let us know. We know times are tough with COVID and we want to keep families together,” she said.

Adoption costs for pets are $75 and Held says that includes vaccines and spay and neutering.

The shelter is in need of adopters who do not have children but are looking for older dogs.

Held says there are also volunteer options available and that includes field trip opportunities for pets.

Volunteers can sign out the animals to have a day of fun. You do not need to pre-register.

For more information and to take a look at some of the animals up for adoption, click here.

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