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Three Hampton Roads Animal Shelters Join Together to Offer 

Humane Pet Training at New “Happy Paws” Center 


 Hampton Roads, Virginia, April 6, 2015 – Three private animal shelters in Hampton Roads have joined forces to offer a new pet training center that will start services this month.  Open to all members of the public, Happy Paws will provide education and training to strengthen the bond between companion animals and their families.  The goal is to keep pets in their homes by enhancing relationships.  The shelters will subsidize some classes for low-income owners struggling with pet behavior issues.  A grand opening is slated for Wednesday, May 27 at 11:00 a.m.

Classes will take place in a newly refurbished space at 5660 Indian River Road, Suite 118, conveniently located just off I-64 and across from Regent University.  Tim Molina, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, will manage the center.  He is a trainer with 10 years of experience and multiple pet training credentials.  Tim is formerly the canine behavior specialist at the Virginia Beach SPCA.  Classes will be humanely taught with positive-reinforcement methods.  For more information, visit or its Facebook page, or call 757-963-8661.  

Happy Paws is a collaborative effort of the Chesapeake Humane Society, Norfolk SPCA and Virginia Beach SPCA.  The three shelters will market the center to pet owners contacting them for assistance and advice.  Their collective vision is all pets in Hampton Roads living in loving forever homes.  

Happy Paws is made possible by a $162,736 grant from the Alfred L. Nicholson Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.  “Since 1998, the community foundation has kept alive the memory of Captain Nicholson, an advocate for better lives for animals, by providing grants in his name to these three shelters.  I think Captain Nicholson would be thrilled to see them working together on this training center that will bring joy to both animals and their families,” says Deborah M. DiCroce, president of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. 

Research shows that behavior issues are among the most frequent reasons that people surrender their pets to shelters. Happy Paws will serve as a proactive effort to prevent relinquishments to already-overburdened shelters.  Currently, tens of thousands of animals are surrendered every year to shelters in Hampton Roads.