VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – While no one was hurt in the tornado that hit Virginia Beach a month ago, it left several families looking for a new place to call home.

That includes a dog named Wiggles.

Wiggles, who was found roaming around Haversham Close, is still holding out hope her owner will come back for her.

Wiggles was brought into Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center in early May.

She’s an adult female mastiff pup who was found wandering around after an EF-3 tornado touched down in the neighborhood.

Shelter staff said she seemed well taken care of when she came in, so they thought neighbors would recognize her or her former owners would be looking for her.

“With weather you have wind, you have fences being knocked down, gates being opened,” said Shelter Manager Jessica Wilde. “A lot of families were displaced, so it’s natural to see a higher population of strayed pets.”

It’s now been a month and no one has come to claim her, so she’s up for adoption at the shelter.

She was briefly adopted by another family, but it unfortunately wasn’t a good fit, so she was brought back.

“She’s going to need a little bit of a slower introduction coming into a new home and out of a shelter,” Wilde said. “She is so sweet. She got her name for being wiggly. She loves people, very sweet and social and is going to be a great pet for somebody.”

Wiggles is one of 100 dogs up for adoption right now at the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center.

The shelter is overcapacity, hoping people find it in their hearts to add a new member to their families.

“You can come in, walk around the kennels to meet some dogs and cats and anything else we have here up for adoption,” Wilde said.

Wilde said they have some dogs who have been in the shelter for a long time, a few approaching a year in the kennels, just waiting for someone to come take them home.

“We try to encourage like a three, three, three rule,” said Wilde. “It takes three days to decompress from the shelter lifestyle, it takes three weeks to settle into a new routine and three months to really show their true personality and be a fully acclimated member of the family. They’re going through a lot of changes coming from an unknown home to a shelter to another home, so there’s a lot of things that they have to get used to so it takes time.”

Hoping they’ll create a new paws-itive chapter in one of these four-legged lives.

“Every pet has their own story and what they’ve come from, hers happens to be right in the aftermath of this storm,” Wilde said, “so that makes her special for that circumstance, but we have a million stories here,” said Wilde.

A wiggly story that you could help re-write.

“It’s very fulfilling giving a homeless pet a home, and the rewards, you see them every day,” Wilde said.

The smiles and, of course, the wiggles.

“You’re certainly going to change your family by adopting,” Wilde said. “You’re bringing in a pet that needs a home.”

More information

The Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center has a couple of adoption criteria right now:

  • You must bring your lease with pet policy if you rent.
  • Bring a rabies certificate if you have another dog(s).

They’re also looking for donations of milk bones or treats if you can’t adopt right now.

The shelter’s hours 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

There’s also a rabies and Microchip Walk-In Clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 13 at 341 S. Birdneck Road in Virginia Beach. The rabies vaccines are $5 and microchips are $10.

Visit Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center’s website for more information.