Norfolk Animal Care Center at full capacity; needs adopters and foster families

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Norfolk Animal Shelter is at capacity and needs residents to adopt or foster animals.

The Norfolk Animal Care Center is usually busy in the summer months, but operations manager Jen Held says it’s the busiest since the middle of the pandemic.

“We all have animals, that’s for sure,” she said. “We are completely full of dogs. Our cat adoption floor is full. We have more than 10 hamsters, a guinea pig, a rooster is here. We have every species you can think of ready to go home.

Held says they have about 60-70 dogs and 70-80 cats. Many of their pets are currently strays and they hope to reunite them with their families.

Being at full capacity can be tough for everyone, so they’re working to clear shelters.

“We try to go above and beyond with our care, but it’s more stressful for staff, volunteers, host families and everyone else. We want to help as many animals as possible. We do a lot more cleaning. We do more adoption counseling. We’re trying to get more animals into homes, whether it’s fostering, reunification or adoption,” she said.

The shelter isn’t the only one on Hampton Roads that’s busy.

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

Held says they offer temporary placement for pets for up to 90 days if owners are in financial difficulty.

She also thinks they have seen an increase with more places reopening and people returning to work.

“Summer is always difficult, but all shelters are in the same situation,” she said. “And we try to work together but we are all full. So it’s hard to have those partnerships and work together when we’re all in this together.

That’s why they waive recovery fees in hopes that people who may be in financial difficulty will find 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 families. If you are missing an animal we want to make sure you need help with food or something, let us know. We know times are tough with COVID and we want to keep families together,” she said.

The pet adoption fee is $75, and Held says that includes vaccinations and neutering.

The shelter needs adopters who do not have children but are looking for older dogs.

Held says there are also volunteer options available and that includes opportunities for pet excursions.

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

For more information and to discover some of the animals for adoption, Click here.

Benjamin M. Yerger