You are here


1966:  Liz Sills and B Lovitt form the Virginia Beach SPCA.  The first Board of Directors was made up of 10 elected members.   The City of Virginia Beach donates land on Farm Road at the intersection of General Booth and Oceana Boulevard.

1968:  $5000 is raised to build the VBSPCA’s first shelter.  The VBSPCA begins the area’s first humane education program. (Using two monkeys, Simon and Sam, a raccoon, a boa constrictor and a rabbit named Peterella.)

1969:  The shelter opens on January 1.  The new shelter cares for more than 5,000 animals in its first year of operation.

1972:  A spay/neuter clinic is added to the shelter where adopted animals are spayed and neutered onsite in one of the first such programs in the nation.

The VBSPCA wildlife program is born with licensed rehabilitators.

A VBSPCA bulletin reads:  “NO ANIMAL is ever turned away from our door.  NO ANIMAL is allowed to lie suffering by the road if we are called.  NO ANIMAL may be mistreated if we can help, within the limits of the law.”

1975:  Adoption fees increase to cover shots and deworming.  A crew of 70 volunteers is recruited and trained.  The first VBSPCA newsletter, called MEWS, is printed for Board Members.

1977:  The Virginia Animal Welfare Act is signed into law. 

1978:  A humane education center and upgraded operating room are added to the shelter.  Part-time veterinarians are hired to spay and neuter animals.
1979:  Puppy Kindergarten obedience training begins for the public. 

Susan Wagner becomes Humane Educator, the first such position in the area that included no other duties.   

1980:  The first regularly scheduled pet therapy begins at two nursing homes. 

1981:  The Virginia Beach SPCA opens a full-service low-income veterinary clinic on July 13.

1984:  PAWS newsletter is published, the first newsletter for all VBSPCA members.

1986:  Plans for a $1.2 million new shelter are developed and approved by the Board of Directors

1989:  The VBSPCA’s Doris Malbon Taylor Shelter opens in May. 

First Annual Celebrity and Pet Fashion nearly 400 people purchased tickets and attend.   

1991:  The American Humane Association presents the VBSPCA with its Excellence Award in the areas of Facilities and Staff, Euthanasia, Operating Programs, and Community Relations.  Only 68 shelters in the nation received such an award.

1993:  The VBSPCA brings lessons of compassion to at-risk 4-year-olds through the Early Discoveries program.

The VBSPCA opens an in-house surgical suite to spay/neuter all adopted animals before they leave the shelter. 

1996:  Celebrates 30 years of service.

1997:  A Virginian-Pilot editorial urges readers to “Dig Deep”, explaining that “not only is the Virginia Beach SPCA the only local shelter that accepts every single animal presented, but it finds foster homes for animals in special hardship cases.”

1998:  The VBSPCA presents a community forum on “Living with your Wild Neighbors.”  Wildlife biologists and others discuss ways to humanely handle urban and suburban wildlife conflicts.

1999:  The VBSPCA coordinates development and enactment of Virginia’s first Felony animal cruelty legislation.  The felony statute is limited to repeat offenders. 

2001:  Celebrating 35 years of service, the shelter is praised by Virginian-Pilot columnist

Patrick Lackey for setting a record in adoption rates for dogs and cats.  83% of dogs found homes, as did 58% of cats

The VBSPCA goes back to Richmond, getting aggravated animal cruelty upgraded to a first-offense Felony.

2002:  The Second Chance Campaign begins for a $1.4 million expansion and renovation
The Princess Foo Foo Memorial Garden is established in honor of the shelter’s late, great pet therapy dog

2003:  The VBSPCA officially opens its new low-cost veterinary clinic for low-income households on Spay Day USA, neutering and spaying 125 in one day! 
The Scoop the Poop campaign is launched

2004:  Poop pollutes goes national as the syndicated Annie’s Mailbox column lists the VBSPCA website as a resource.

2005: Launched our educational campaign “Be a Lifesaver” in the Hampton Roads Community
Staff members went to aid of the animals in Mississippi and Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina

2006: 40 year anniversary
The Virginia Beach SPCA Listening Ears program is honored with the Virginia Literacy Award

2007: The CARE Program is launched
The Neuter Scooter is purchased and serves the community

2008: The Puppy Mill Bill (538) is passed
113 Puppy mill dogs are rescued from West Virginia and cared for at the VBSPCA

2009: Create the HOPE (Help Out Pets Everywhere) program is launched
The VBSPCA initiates its green initiatives and “Goes Green”

2010: Second Chance Thrift Store opens to benefit the VBSPCA on February 26, 2010

2014: Sharon Q. Adams retired after 22 years of tireless service to the VBSPCA on February 14

Dia DuVernet named CEO.

2015: Virginia Beach SPCA's Pet Supplies & Adoption Center opens in the Kempville Area, and will help over 700 additional animals find homes.

Happy Paws Humane Pet Training opens in collaboration with Norfolk SPCA and Chesapeake Humane Society through a grant from Hampton Roads Community Foundation. 

2016: The VBSPCA celebrates its 50th Anniversary, finding homes for 3,389 companion animals, assisting over 2,600 injured wildlife, and serving 11,547 cases in our public clinic. 

In August the VBSPCA opened their doors to 15 dogs displaced by the flooding in Lousiana.

The VBSPCA's Junior Volunteer Program won a Volunteer Hampton Roads Achievement Award.