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Mission Moments — Long-Term Shelter Residents

Amidst our ceaseless march towards a more compassionate community, we are proud to say that we see victories every single day. The VBSPCA mission is in action everywhere we look, and we often stop to take pause and capture the moments and stories that bring our mission to life. Below are a few stories of some of our long term residents, stories that shed light on the dedication of our staff and the impact of their efforts. Thanks to all who continue to support our mission and are in part creators of these happy endings.

Hazel — arrived 8/14/19, adopted 11/13/19

This sweet girl was overlooked by potential adopters during the first two months at the shelter due to her often hiding at the back of her cage. Hazel became extremely nervous due to being in a new environment and her great personality would only come out when she was brought into a visiting room. Our staff saw that she wasn’t doing well by herself, so she was moved to a colony with other cat friends. She almost immediately reverted back to being a confident and playful cat, and she loved having other cats to play with. Hazel also began to work on target training with one of our companion pet trainers who helped with socialization and confidence. This great cat was able to catch the eye of her perfect family and was adopted after spending three months in the shelter!

Ruger — arrived 10/2/19, adopted 12/31/19


Ruger arrived at the shelter nervous and afraid. According to his previous owner, he was scared of children and handling of any kind. Plus, being in the kennel made Ruger slightly reactive and would bark at anyone who walked past his cage. However, our staff saw Ruger’s potential to be a confident and happy dog. We continued to work with him, and slowly Ruger’s amazing personality started to show. Instead of barking, he began to wag his tail in excitement so fast that his butt would wiggle. Staff were able to walk him with young children present, and his basic obedience training helped him while being handled. His forever family saw the improvement he had made and decided to give him a great home.

Tippy — arrived 10/9/19, adopted 12/20/19


This sassy old man brought kitten-like energy to the VBSPCA. He was put in a cat colony and with other cats that loved to relax and sleep, and his personality stole the show. He was more interested in playing with wand toys or rushing to the door to greet whoever was about to walk in. However, he had issues with his kidneys so he was placed on medical hold until our clinic team could further assess the situation. Fortunately, our clinic staff found that Tippy was only in the beginning stages of kidney disease and had many more years of play ahead of him. He was released to be adopted and with his great personality quickly attracted a forever family.

Ares — arrived 8/17/19, adopted 1/6/20


When Ares arrived at the shelter, he was a year old with a lot of puppy energy. He was extremely reactive to anyone who approached him in the kennel, and he pulled hard whenever he was on leash. It was clear he needed obedience training, so one of our companion pet trainers began to work with him. She soon discovered that Ares was extremely eager to please. Our volunteers also started running him to release some of his energy. A couple of weeks passed and Ares was like a new dog! With his new training, he found a perfect family who loved his high level of energy. Ares is now living a great life and fits right in with his new dog siblings.

Riddick — arrived 8/7/19, adopted 1/13/20


This grumpy old man just couldn’t stay away from us. After being successfully adopted, this 10-year-old cat was returned to our shelter due to his family moving somewhere he could not go. Riddick was easily stressed and would let everyone know how displeased he was by meowing loudly for all to hear. In addition to being stressed, Riddick also had terrible teeth and was required to be on a special diet to keep him healthy for many more years. Despite his grumpiness and teeth issues, he was always ready to cuddle in a visiting room once he was calm, and he loved playing with wand toys. The VBSPCA staff saw beyond his issues and was dedicated to helping him. Money was raised for his dental surgery, our clinic staff was able to provide help, and our cattery staff gave him plenty of socialization. Riddick waited patiently for months until his perfect family came along and chose to welcome him into their home.