Is the VBSPCA connected with Virginia Beach Animal Control, Norfolk SPCA, or the ASPCA?
No. The Virginia Beach Animal Control Bureau is a city agency. The VBSPCA is a private, nonprofit charitable organization supported by contributions from the public. In fact, all SPCAs and humane societies are independent from each other, and each has different policies and programs. There is no national SPCA or humane society to which we report. While we are a member of some national and state-wide organizations, we are the shelter serving Virginia Beach and surrounding communities.
What is the point of having two shelters in Virginia Beach?
Animal Control enforces the city ordinances pertaining to animals, and picks up stray, injured, or deceased animals from the streets. The VBSPCA has no trucks, and we do not pick up animals. Seventy percent of the animals at our shelter are turned in by their owners. We provide shots, grooming and medical care as needed, and lots of TLC. When we take in a pet, we find out all we can about his or her disposition and habits, so that we can find a suitable, permanent home. The VBSPCA also performs many other important community services.
Besides sheltering animals, what does the VBSPCA do?
We employ a full-time education director who visits schools, day care centers and civic and church groups to teach proper care of pets and respect for all living things. Adults and older children are also exposed to leading animal rights issues. We conduct special programs for "at-risk" children, conduct community forums on topics as diverse as the link between cruelty to animals and violence towards humans, to how to deal with urban wildlife problems. We maintain a wildlife referral line to benefit injured and orphaned wildlife, and work to educate the public on the importance of spaying and neutering as a way to combat the tragic pet overpopulation crisis.
Do you deal with people who are actually abusing animals?
No, not at this time. However, we are working hard to make the community aware of the link between animal abuse and family violence. Call us for details on how you can become a humane investigator!
What is pet therapy?
The VBSPCA has been taking pets to local nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, facilities for emotionally disturbed children, and other institutions on a regular basis for many years now. Various community groups and individuals volunteer to help with the visits. It's really heart-warming to see those lonely people smile when a puppy, kitten, or rabbit is placed in their arms. Our program is not limited to Virginia Beach. We visit Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk, Tidewater Detention Center in Chesapeake, and The Pines in Portsmouth, among other places. All programs are free to the facility visited.
Isn't there a program that provides reduced adoption fees for senior citizens?
Yes. The VBSPCA participates in Ralston-Purina's "Pets for People" program, in which anyone aged 60 or older may adopt an adult cat or dog at a reduced adoption fee. Neutering and shots are included. We love this program! Studies have shown that having a companion animal improves the physical and mental health and well-being of older people.
Does the VBSPCA find homes for all of the pets that are turned in? All healthy and treatable animals are made available for adoption. However, not all animals turned in to the shelter are healthy or treatable, or remain healthy and treatable while at the shelter. Animals that are not healthy or not likely to become healthy, or who have behaviors that are not manageable or pose a risk to an adopter, are not made available for adoption.
How long do animals stay healthy in an animal shelter?
There is no simple answer to that question. Many animals have never received inoculation against common diseases, so they pick up viruses easily. Once they are turned in by their family, others become depressed, and this lowers their resistance to disease and infection. Because of this we frequently rely on foster families to provide care to animals under eight weeks of age, allowing the animal to strengthen its immune system before coming to the shelter for adoption.
What do you do to increase the adoption ratio of animals?
Our foster network cares for animals until they are old enough to be adopted.
We participate in countless community events and bring available animals.
In partnership with Petsmart, our cats are available at two Virginia Beach store locations.
We hold several adopt-a-thon events and adoption incentive promotions each year.
Our adult volunteers come in to the shelter to walk dogs and socialize animals, improving their adoptability.
Our available animals can be seen on our website, Petfinder.com, Pets911.com, Adoptapet.com as well as almost a dozen other sites.
Our adoption packages are designed to be extremely affordable and include vaccinations and spay/neuter.
We are open 7 days a week and have extended evening hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Does the VBSPCA euthanize animals?
Yes. Animals are assessed for adoption based on the typical level of care provided to pets by reasonable and caring pet owners. Animals that are not healthy or not likely to become healthy, or who have behaviors that are not manageable, do not respond to behavior therapy, or pose a risk to a potential adopter are not made available for adoption.
Do you frequently run out of space in the shelter?
What is the solution?
Spaying and neutering is the only way to reduce the number of animals that are born, and for whom there are no available homes. Plus, we need people to make life-long commitments to their pets, rather than just turning them in when they become inconvenient.
Does the VBSPCA neuter animals for owners?
Our low cost medical clinic provides reduces cost spay/neuter services for families with incomes under $42,000.
Why don't you just give the pets to people?
People often don't take very good care of things that are free -- and it does cost money to look after a pet. Our adoption packages, which include vaccinations and spay/neuter are very affordable. These are services we would not be able to provide if animals were given away. And if an individual is not interested in adopting a animal unless it is free, there is a low likelihood that they will obtain veterinary services at a later date. If you consider all of the things we provide along with the animal, it is cheaper to adopt an animal from the VBSPCA than to get one for free and pay all of the veterinary expenses yourself.
Are VBSPCA expenses very high? Do you need donations of food, or volunteers?
We must purchase vaccines, medicine, cleaning and office supplies, and pay many of the same bills as any other business -- electricity, heating and cooling, water, phone, and insurance. We have a volunteer board of directors, over 200 adult volunteers and over 150 junior volunteers. But in order to provide the best possible care to the animals, we also have a small, core staff of paid employees at the shelter every day.
Where does your money come from?
The VBSPCA receives no federal, state, or city funding. We rely on the public's generosity for our support. We also have many fundraising events throughout the year. When people turn in their pets, we ask them to make a contribution for the animals' care. Amazingly, only 30 percent do so.
What animals do you accept?
All owner relinquished animals and wildlife from any city or state, unless they have bitten in the last ten days. Those who have bitten must be take to Virginia Beach Animal Control. We provide assessments for animals brought to the shelter, and providing counseling along with options if we feel an animal may not be adoptable.
* Note: we do not accept animals from the public on Wednesdays at all or after 5:00pm any day.
What are your adoption fees?
Adoption Package Costs: Adoption packages also includes de-wormer, flea treatment, behavioral assessment, nail clipping, ear cleaning, heartworm test (canine), and basic vaccinations.
Dog: $150 (Includes spay/neuter if needed, 1 years Rabies vaccination, microchip, and a 6 month supply of Triheart heartworm preventative.)
Puppy $175 (Includes spay/neuter if needed, 1 year Rabies vaccination or certificate for a rabies vaccination if pet is not old enough, microchip, and a 6 month supply of Triheart heartworm preventative.)
Cat: $80 (Includes spay/neuter if needed, 1 years Rabies vaccination, microchip, and a Feline Leukemia/FIV combo test.)
Kitten: $100 (Includes spay/neuter if needed, 1 year Rabies vaccination or certificate for a rabies vaccination if pet is not old enough, microchip, and a Feline Leukemia/FIV combo test.)
Rabbits: $15 if already altered; $35 if spay/neuter surgery needed
Guinea Pigs: $10
Rats: $10; $25 if spay/neuter surgery needed
How do I adopt an animal from the VBSPCA?
Come down and visit with our animals, find one you like, spend some time playing in one of our "get acquainted" rooms, and fill out an adoption application. We'll check things like whether your wife and kids want an animal, whether your current pets are up to date on their vaccines, and whether your landlord allows you to have pets. This usually takes no more than a day. Plus, we spay or neuter all animals before they leave our shelters, so you may have to wait an extra day or two before your new baby can come home. It's a terrific deal financially, plus you're saving a life!