Dogs, cats and more are flocking to Greater Williamsburg’s largest animal shelter in need of help and homes. Across the country, shelters are flooded, including the local Heritage Humane Society. With more than 240 animals currently in its care, including in foster care, the region’s largest animal shelter and resource center is in dire need of community support.
Area residents interested in adding a pet to their home are urged to consider adopting rather than buying a pet or going to a breeder. The wide range of homeless pets to adopt offers many personality options and types. Currently, 247 pets are cared for by the Heritage Humane Society, including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and rabbits.
When overloaded, critical needs increase
According to a recent urgent letter to the community from Heritage Humane Society Executive Director Kimberly Laska, the nonprofit is in dire need of temporary, loving foster homes, fewer unnecessary surrenders, and more donations.
There are no days off for an animal shelter. Care goes beyond the upkeep of house and foster pets. Rising inflation has caused more and more pet owners to feel the need to give up their furry companions. Every day is filled with heartbreaking surrenders. At this point, the Heritage Humane Society had to temporarily ban non-emergency disposals. He points out that those considering returning their pet should sign up for his Kibble Kitchen & Beyond, which is his community outreach providing basic food and supplies so animals can stay with their human companions.
Last spring and early summer, the Heritage Humane Society itself was hit with multiple instances of animal hoarding. There were also people who did not spay or neuter their pets which then bred resulting in unwanted puppies and kittens. This rapid influx has strained the shelter, its staff and its resources. There are volunteer openings and animal foster homes are in high demand.
Recently, the Peninsula Regional Animal Sanctuary (PRAS) was overwhelmed with an influx of 278 animals in just 10 days from July 15-25. As supporters of each other, each shelter partner in the area, including the Heritage Humane Society, has agreed to help with a minimum of 10 pets. Though it may not seem like much, like shelters everywhere, the Heritage Humane Society has stepped up to do its part in welcoming and caring for unwanted animals.
“Here at the Heritage Humane Society, we are a community resource, which means that in addition to connecting pets with their forever homes, we support a network of Hampton Roads shelters, care for homeless animals ill or injured in our care, operate the Kibble Neighborhood Kitchen providing food and supplies to animals in the Great Williamsburg community so they can stay with their families, participate in trials to protect local pets, and much more, so we are in an overloaded situation right now and for our population of homeless animals. , we ask the community to support us by adopting, fostering and, where possible, donating, so that we can operate as we should,” says Kimberly Laska, CEO of the Heritage Humane Society.
The new look of adoption
The July 16 opening of Schwartzy’s Cat Cove was a lifeline for the Heritage Humane Society’s capacity problem. In its first few weeks, 26 cats were adopted. It really changed the lives of some of these cats. Since its opening, more than 2,500 visitors have visited the Cat Cove. Located at 5102 Main Street, Williamsburg, VA, USA, 23188 next to Nautical Dog – Pet Market & Dog Wash.
You could be the next contestant
“Come down! If these words remind you of the great and late animal advocate Bob Barker or current host Drew Carey of The Price is Right, you too can be a winner while staying in Greater Williamsburg.
The Heritage Humane Society participates in the annual national pet adoption movement, Clear the Shelters. Until August 31, adopters can play Plinko, the game made popular by millions on The Price is Right.
The homeless pets at the shelter are full of personality. The latest pet projectors include:
• Meet Nabi and Ooyoo. Five-year-old mother Nabi and one-year-old daughter Ooyoo are a sweet pair of Korean Jindo dogs. Fun fact: This dynamic duo may hold the record for the longest route to the Williamsburg-based haven from Korea.
• Meet Itty. Born with CH (cerebellar hypoplasia), while other cats have a swagger, Itty has a wobble. The neurological condition means Itty has random and unbalanced coordination. This long-haired beauty likes to stay on the go with other kitties and has no idea that life is different depending on her stride. She will lead a full life and is ready to make her way into her furry home.
• Meet Buzz. Hippity, hoppity, Buzz the pet rabbit is ready to find his way back to his permanent home. His current foster home reports that Buzz is laid back, likes to observe before throwing himself into a mix of people, and is a professional nibbler. When he roams freely around the house, he makes a charming little buzz to show his happiness, hence his nickname, Buzz.
While finding the perfect pet companion is incredibly special, those who adopt puppies or dogs from the Heritage Humane Society also receive a special $40 coupon for dog training classes. Dog Training Instructor Adam Claar offers free dog training classes and workshops at the Heritage Humane Society. His classes are also open to all dogs in the region.
To learn more and to register your dog for training, visit HeritageHumane.org or call 757-221-0150. Heritage Humane Society is located at 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
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