Norfolk’s animal shelter has reached full capacity. And the city is urging residents to adopt or foster a new pet to help make room.
The Norfolk Animal Care Center is offering pet adoption for $35 until the end of the month to make more space for animals in need of care. Typically, pet adoption cost $75 at the shelter.
But it’s not only Norfolk that is experiencing a rising number of pets that need homes. Animal shelters across the region are filling up, with increasing waitlists and lengthy stays.
Daphna Nachminovitch, senior vice president for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said animal shelters across the country have seen an uptick in owners surrendering their pets to shelters after a spike in adoptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s absolutely a national issue,” Nachminovitch said.
The issue may also be seasonal, according to Mandi Kowaleski, communications and marketing manager at the Virginia Beach SPCA. She told the Virginian-Pilot in June that shelters tend to take in more animals as the weather heats up and stray cats and dogs have litters.
The Norfolk animal shelter cares for 400 to 600 animals each month, and over 5,000 animals per year, according to its website. It is a “no-kill” shelter, meaning more than 90% of the animals brought to the shelter are saved instead of being euthanized.
The shelter’s plea for help comes a month after it was found to be in violation of state veterinary care and infectious disease rules, according to a letter sent to city officials July 7. State inspectors found the shelter was not providing “adequate and appropriate veterinary care” for animals.
The shelter’s manager, Jennifer Held, said those violations have been addressed and the shelter’s protocols and procedures updated “to ensure compliance is achieved in the future” shortly after an article was published about the violation.
Norfolk Animal Care Center is located at 5585 Sabre Road, Norfolk, VA 23502. You can also call (757) 441-5505 or email NACC@norfolk.gov.
Daniel Berti, email@example.com