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VBSPCA 2020 Compassion Award Recipient: Susan Browney-Dillon

The 2020 Virginia Beach SPCA Compassion Award recipient is Susan Browney-Dillon. This award is given out annually in recognition of individuals who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the VBSPCA mission of compassion, both in the shelter and out in the community. As a business owner who freely gives her time and talent to help animals in need, Browney-Dillon is most definitely deserving of this honor.

Susan Browney-Dillon has lived in the area her entire life and grew up serving local animal shelters by cleaning cages, walking dogs and even using her allowance money to donate to animals in need. When someone asks her about animal welfare, she will cheerfully answer back that it is her lifestyle. Her journey with the VBSPCA started over 30 years ago when she became involved with events. She used her dance background to choreograph and provide entertainment for the annual galas, and she later created the “Puttin’ on the Dog” fundraiser to benefit the shelter by selling donated evening dresses and jewelry.

After many years of success, Browney-Dillon decided that she wanted to merge her passion for dance with her love of animals to create Dancing for Paws, a Dancing with the Stars style fundraising event that was held at Chrysler Hall. These events collectively raised over $150,000 in funds for the animals of the VBSPCA.

Browney-Dillon is the owner and director of Golden Slippers Dance Academies that currently have five locations in Virginia Beach. One of these locations serves as a backup hurricane shelter for the VBSPCA animals should an evacuation of the main shelter be necessary. In 2019, Golden Slippers celebrated their 40th year in business.

She has also directly impacted the lives of Sundance and Dixie, two special dogs who were transferred from a Korean meat farm. “It was a long, hard and very challenging road for them to become confident dogs after their dark past, but with much love and patience they are happy and living their best lives,” she said. “What a gift that I was able to be a part of that.” Fun fact: Sundance and Dixie were featured on the cover of the VBSPCA 2020 calendar!

Sundance and Dixie are not the only animals that are part of Browney-Dillon’s family. She has eight pets, four dogs and four cats, who are all rescues. However, her care for animals does not stop there. She often donates and buys supplies for shelter animals to make sure they are loved and cared for.

One of her favorite stories to tell happened in 2017 during hurricane season. The VBSPCA sent out a plea for blankets during the intake of numerous dogs displaced by hurricane Harvey. The conference room was filled with crates and Browney-Dillon visited several thrift stores buying all the blankets in stock.

“When I went to the DAV on Virginia Beach Blvd., the cashier commented on all the number of blankets I was buying,” she recalled. “I told her why I was purchasing them and not only would she not take my money, she reached in her wallet and paid for them. Her name was Naomi and I will never forget that act of kindness. What a great example of community, there are truly unsung heroes everywhere!”

Browney-Dillon believes that small acts of kindness can have a ripple effect, and she loves sharing everyday examples to show how important animal welfare is. “I truly believe we are supposed to help those creatures that cannot help themselves,” she said, adding that she wants to live her life as a reminder that there are always animals in need.

Browney- Dillon’s life has been defined by two qualities — compassion and ingenuity — and we are extremely grateful for the impact she has made on our entire organization.

“A small gesture of kindness by a few can make a huge difference to so many.” – Susan Browney-Dillon

VBSPCA 2020 Lifesaver Award Recipient: Arvalla “Arvie” Larsen

The 2020 recipient of the Virginia Beach SPCA Lifesaver Award is Arvalla “Arvie” Larsen, an inspiring example of generosity, selflessness and compassion in service to the animals. This annual award has been given out for the past 10+ years, and it honors individuals who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the VBSPCA mission of compassion. Larsen has consistently proven that she is deserving of this very special award and we are thrilled to recognize her in this way.

Larsen’s journey with the VBSPCA started in 1980 while she was serving in the U.S. Navy. For many years, she donated part of her paychecks to the shelter as a way of supporting the animals. After retiring in 2013 she took a gap year, and this is when Larsen decided to put her compassion into action. Her orientation was in 2014 and ever since then she has helped clean the cattery a few days out of every single week.

When asked why she is so dedicated to helping out the animals of the VBSPCA, Larsen explains in her blunt and matter-of-fact way that sometimes she “likes animals better than people. Because people can be mean. Animals don’t know what being mean is, only that they want to survive.”

On her off time, she continues to serve animals in the Virginia Beach community. She is a level 4 wildlife rehabber with Second Chance Wildlife and has successfully released multiple animals after nursing them back to health. “I hope to help animals live a long life and a better life for as long as I can,” she says.

Stemming from her passion for animal welfare, Larsen believes that government-run programs like animal control need help from dedicated people working in nonprofit organizations. According to her, the problem is too big for one shelter to handle. “Nonprofits are extremely important in our community because they can give a helping hand to state-run shelters,” she said.

Larsen credits her work ethic and dedication to her military background. She joined the U.S. Navy in 1964 and served until 1984, transitioning into working veterans affairs at Tidewater Community College. She recalls how different the culture was for women due to WAVES still being active, saying “we weren’t really in the Navy.” However, one thing she is grateful for during her time of service is teaching her the benefit of having structure.

“I know the VBSPCA can rely on me and I take pride in being relied upon,” she said. “The military taught me that when you have a schedule you should keep it. It’s a good feeling to know that they can count on me to get a job done.”

While she is an integral part of daily life at the shelter, Larsen claims that she almost didn’t show up to her volunteer orientation. Her introverted personality made her nervous to take the first step, but once she got started, all of her worry about volunteering went away. “I work in the cattery and I love it because it gives me a little time to myself in the mornings before the rush starts. There’s a calming feeling of working around animals early in the morning, and I am so happy to have had this opportunity,” she said.

No matter what arena she finds herself in, Larsen has lived a life in service of animals. Her selflessness and dedication are commendable qualities to have, and the VBSPCA has been fortunate to have her as a committed volunteer in service to the animals.

“I hope to help animals live a long life and a better life for as long as I can.” – Arvie Larsen.

Compassion in the Community — August

July was an incredible month filled with compassion, joy and collaboration. We hope to see just as much positivity in August as we have many exciting activities planned. Read more below to learn about some ways that you can support the Virginia Beach SPCA by running a virtual 5k, engaging your kids in fun virtual activities, or shopping at your favorite grocery store.

Clear The Shelters – All month long

The Virginia Beach SPCA is partnering with NBC and Telemundo to host a month-long “Adopt & Donate” initiative. Visit the Clear The Shelters website where you can contribute to the campaign and learn about other ways to support the cause. We have a chance to receive up to 10k in match funding, so any donation amount helps! Additionally, we will be featuring some very special adoptable animals throughout the month, so continue to check our Facebook page to see who we feature each week.

Dog Days of Summer J & A Racing – All month long

July is a wrap, but we’ve still got August left in the Dog Days of Summer Virtual Race Series! Our friends at j&a racing have put together 5k races in June, July, and August, and there is even a Mutt Mile just for kids. The animals receive $1 from every registration, so sign up today!

A Tale For Two – All month long

A Tale for Two is an extension of our Listening Ears Program which pairs a young reader with an animal to make the experience of reading more fun. By bringing the readers to our shelter, our adoptable cats and dogs get to benefit from the positive presence of a child, boosting confidence in both the pet and the person. This in-shelter reading program is open to youth ages 6-13, and visits take place on Monday afternoons between 4pm and 5pm. Visits must be scheduled in advance, and children are invited to bring their own books or they can choose from the VBSPCA library. Click here to schedule your visit.

Make a Cage Card – Every Friday starting August 7th

We are calling all children to participate in this new virtual activity! Our adoptable animals rely on what we call “cage cards” to help tell their story to potential adopters. We are recruiting young animal lovers to help with this very important task and together we will find forever homes for some very special animals.. For full details, visit our website here.

All Year Long – Sustainable Support

You can help homeless animals anytime you buy groceries at Kroger! Simply sign up, swipe your Plus Card when you shop, and a portion of the sale will be donated back to the VBSPCA! Sign up to participate here.

Host a fundraiser through Bonfire

Create a t-shirt to benefit the animals of the VBSPCA! Bonfire makes it easy – upload your design, select the VBSPCA as the nonprofit, and they take it from there. This is a great way to support the animals while also putting some style out there in the community. Learn more here.

Become a Member

As a VBSPCA Member, every adoption we complete, every wildlife animal we rescue, every child we reach, and every pet we treat in our clinic connects back to you. YOU make our mission possible, and all it takes is $10 a month. Plus, VBSPCA members receive exclusive perks and discounts in gratitude for their dedication to sustaining our mission! Interested? Click here to become a VBSPCA Member.

#VBStrong

In solidarity with our two legged and four-legged community, VBStrong T-shirts and tanks are available at the VBSPCA shelter, located at 3040 Holland Road. 100% of the proceeds from these VBStrong shirts will go to families of those who were lost on May 31st, 2019.

The Virginia Beach SPCA is incredibly grateful for the continued support from our local community. If you are interested in hosting a fundraiser or event supporting the VBSPCA, please contact our Outreach Department at outreach@vbspca.com.

Clear The Shelters — VBSPCA

Clear The Shelters is a nationwide adoption event that helps spread awareness around animal homelessness. For the fifth year, Clear The Shelters is back with a renewed focus in the time of COVID-19. While adoption promotion is still a key part of the initiative, they have added a new fundraising element to help so many of us that are recovering from the financial impact of the pandemic.

The Virginia Beach SPCA has made a positive impact in our community for many years by being a trusted resource for connecting people and pets through our programs, adoptions, and clinic services. While we continue to remain strong, the pandemic has sent ripples of challenge throughout all areas of our organization and we need the help of our community to continue our mission.

Below are six ways that the VBSPCA is supporting the community through the pandemic and beyond. Please consider donating to our COVID-19 Recovery to help us continue our work toward a more compassionate community.

Humane Ed
Children are the future, and the Virginia Beach SPCA mission of creating a more compassionate community is in their hands. This makes our education programs extremely important. The VBSPCA reaches thousands of children every single year, and each program is designed to foster the values of empathy, respect, and responsibility.

Wildlife
Rabbits, turtles, possums, squirrels, birds, and all kinds of injured wildlife make their way to the Virginia Beach SPCA every year in need of critical care. Our clinic team is on site and ready to provide triage services to ensure that our mission to eliminate suffering extends beyond our pets and into our wild community. This program is fueled entirely by community donations, and we need your help.

Miracle Medical
Every single animal at the Virginia Beach SPCA receives thorough medical care to restore and ensure health to prepare adopters for the best life possible with their new pet. Every. Single. Animal. This elevated level of care is unique in a shelter environment, but it is our promise to all VBSPCA adopters and the animals they choose to love. The medical fees associated with our shelter animals costs an average of $40K every single month, and it is covered by our Miracle Medical Fund. This fund is critical to our operations, and we desperately need your help to keep it funded during our COVID Recovery and sustain it through the years to come.

Clinic Services
The Virginia Beach SPCA low-cost clinic serves thousands of local families every single year. Even though COVID-19 interrupted operations and impacted the VBSPCA financially, our public resources did not skip a beat and our clinic team has remained on the front lines throughout the pandemic. We will continue to support the community and ensure that no animal suffers and that all animals have access to quality care.

Sheltering
When you support the Virginia Beach SPCA mission, you keep homeless animals safe. You provide families with a place to take their beloved pet when they can no longer care for them. You provide time and space for animals who wouldn’t have that luxury elsewhere. You provide enrichment, rest, and recovery. You provide love and affection. You provide second chances. Our supporters make a future possible for the 3000 animals who will find shelter at the Virginia Beach SPCA this year.

Neuter Scooter
A world without animal homelessness is impossible without spay/neuter initiatives. This is why the Virginia Beach SPCA Neuter Scooter is so critical to our mission and vision. By taking our services on the road, we are able to bring these critical resources to communities that need it. Support of the VBSPCA makes this possible and furthers our efforts to end animal suffering and homelessness.

DONATE TODAY to support the VBSPCA’s COVID recovery effort. You can also look to our social media pages throughout the month for videos of some very special adoptable animals. Thank you for supporting the animals.

Happy Tails — Goose

Every single animal that comes through our shelter has a story. Some are complex, many are sad, but all of them get better the minute they arrive at the Virginia Beach SPCA. Goose was a shy adolescent dog who needed a home that would give him a lot of patience and love. He found his perfect home with adopter Kendall and lab sister Heisty who helped him regain confidence. We recently caught up with Kendall, and she gave us an update on Goose, Heisty, and their happy life together.

How did you find Goose and what was your adoption experience?

I have had my dog Heisty for three years, she is a yellow lab and also a rescue. She loves other dogs, but we never really were looking, until COVID hit and my office told everyone to work from home for the foreseeable future. I thought it would be the perfect time to take in a rescue since I would have plenty of time to spend with them. I searched the VBSPCA website and saw many adorable pups I knew would be adopted, then I came across a fluffy white cloud that had been there for over a month and needed multiple visits before he could be adopted. I knew right away this was the pup I wanted! My family has been involved in animal rescue my whole life so I was ready to put in the extra time he would require. During our first meeting he started to warm up, but was still very hesitant. One of the employees told me he was extremely frightened of men. Each visit he would perk up more to see my familiar face and on the fourth I did the big test — Introducing him to Heisty. I was so nervous and was praying all day they would click. They immediately loved each other and even started playing, and I knew she would be the perfect big sister. Throughout the visits, he had not let me do more than pet him gently, but when we arrived at our home I sat on the couch and he jumped up to cuddle!

What is Goose like in his forever home?

It has been four months since I adopted Goose and he is doing great. Each day I would see him get more and more comfortable and have had plenty of time to work with his confidence since I work from home. I take him to Sandbridge on weekends to see my parents and sister. The first visit he would not let my dad within 20 feet of him, but now he runs and jumps on my dad and follows him all around the yard. I think he may be his new favorite. While I work at home, he plays with his sister all day and takes naps with her at my feet. He is also the fan favorite of Zoom calls as he loves jumping on my chair and saying hi. I could not imagine my life without Goose at this point and I know Heisty feels the same way! I can tell he finally understands that he is here to stay forever.

We’ve heard that he is quite the jokester, what are some of his funny quirks?

He has such a unique personality. Goose is always sticking his tongue out, but just enough to where it looks hilarious — I call it his resting face. When I lay on the couch he will jump on and just stand on top of me without moving. If I try to move him he will lay on me and will not budge. He loves jumping on the couch like a kid and body slamming his sister then pouncing on me. I cannot move an inch in my house without him following me and he is the biggest mommas boy around. If he knows you, he will give you the biggest jump hug of your life when you see him!

What are your favorite activities to do with Goose?

Goose loves his walks and going to see his neighborhood friend Bentley at the dog park. I take Goose and Heisty to the beach often although he only likes to dip his paws in the water so far and watch his sister swim through waves. He does enjoy digging in the sand and politely sitting next to the closest family with food. He also loves to play his own version of fetch where he lets Heisty get the ball then side attacks her, turning the game into a wrestling match. Goose loves his daily walks where he can watch all the wildlife and say hello to the other dogs passing by.

Why should someone consider adopting an animal?

Adopting an animal brings an immense amount of love and purpose into your life. It sounds cheesy, but my two rescue dogs have saved me more than I have saved them. They have been there for me in the darkest times and bring so much joy to my life. The unconditional love you find in animals is greater than anything you will experience, and these sweet animals deserve a second chance at a loving permanent home. They do not judge and will be the best companion you could ever hope for. I am not saying it doesn’t take work and training, but every tough moment is worth it to come home to my two rescues.

Last Adoptions — Keeping Pets in Homes

Bringing a pet into the home is an exciting experience, and with it comes the hope of a long, happy life together. However, sometimes there are bumps in the road. Families adopt animals with the best of intentions, but when things get challenging at home – an animal can end up right back in the shelter. Sadly, statistics show that each time an animal returns to a shelter the chances of adoption can decrease, so it is the goal of the Virginia Beach SPCA to provide the right tools and resources to make all adoptions lasting adoptions.

The Keys to Success

Basic Needs

Make sure all of your pet’s needs are met. As with humans, our pets have basic needs that are essential to health, wellbeing, and even survival. When a need is not met, this sets up an unsteady foundation upon which health and behavior issues will almost certainly arise. All pets need the following:

  • Sleep
  • Food & Water
  • Potty breaks
  • Mental stimulation
  • Exercise
  • Human Attention

If all of these needs are being met and your animal is still struggling, speak with your vet about other options or seek out professional training to work on desensitization.

Enrichment

Beat your pet’s boredom with enrichment activities. The brain is an organ that needs to be engaged and exercised. Without mental stimulation, the brain can atrophy and weaken which can lead to all kinds of behavior changes and challenges. Utilize the following activities to make sure your pet is receiving the enrichment they need. And remember, fixing an issue is always more difficult than preventing one:

  • Training Exercises
  • Puzzle Feeders
  • Treats
  • Licki Mats
  • Dog Chew Toys or Kong Wobbles
  • Cat Crinkle Balls

Enrichment can help with issues such as destructive behavior. If there are no underlying issues and your pet is properly trained, providing enrichment is a great way to avoid unwanted behavior.

Socialization

Prep your pet for positive experiences with people and pets. Interaction with people outside of the home is part of any pet’s life, whether it be with the mail person, the HVAC person, other dogs in a dog park, or even weekend guests. Being able to foster comfortable interactions with these unfamiliar faces is not only important for your visitors but especially for your pet’s nervous system. The key to comfortable interaction lies in socializing our pets early while also making sure we properly and safely introduce new spaces and faces.

When introducing your pet to something new:

  • Establish A Routine
  • Move Slowly
  • Be Patient
  • Stay Calm
  • One Person Or Pet At A Time
  • Allow Them To Sniff Around

Unfamiliar spaces can be scary for pets, which might make them reactive. Being patient can avoid problems and get your pet settled in more quickly. A pet that is stressed is not in the right head-space to be a great companion. While you may want to automatically cuddle and love all over them, it may take a little time before they are ready, and that’s okay. For additional information on how to introduce a new pet to your home, read about introducing dogs here and introducing cats here.

Understanding the Reason Behind the Behavior

When dealing with a behavioral issue, it is important to decode what your pet is feeling. We checked in with our friend Crystal Partain, a Dog Trainer with The Freckled Paw, and she offered some great insight into our furry friends’ behavior. First and foremost, if they are acting out or showing signs of stress, there is always a reason! Consider what has happened in the recent month and answer the following questions:

  • Is there any change in the animal’s routine?
  • Do you suspect a medical issue to be the reason your animal’s behavior has changed? If you haven’t done so, consider taking your pet to a vet to see if there are any underlying issues.
  • What is your pet’s training background? Have they had puppy obedience, basic obedience or specialized training before?
  • How old is your pet? Adolescent animals are not as skilled in managing their emotions and may require a little extra patience.

There are many common issues that potentially have simple solutions.

  • If your young dog is becoming reactive, be patient with them. They might simply be having big adolescent feelings about things. This is when annoying embarrassing behaviors come into play, and they can be changed fairly quickly if caught early. If it becomes unmanageable, you can also work one-on-one with a trainer to come up with a plan. The Freckled Paw is a great resource for this!
  • Pets destroying furniture and potty training issues are two of the most frustrating things pet owners have to deal with. For dogs, you can set them up for success by ensuring that they are properly crate trained and make sure the areas where they will be spending the majority of their time are free of anything you don’t want damaged. Cats have specific needs when it comes to litter boxes, and you can read more information by clicking here. They also need to be provided adequate scratching posts to discourage them from scratching on furniture. There are quite a few options at your local pet store, from posts to furniture tape, both of which can be a great deterrent to unwanted scratching.
  • Pets take time to get used to a new home and decompress. If you just brought home your furry friend, remember the rule of 3s. In three days, your dog or cat will have figured out where they are. In three weeks, they will have figured out your routine and in three months, they will begin to ‘unpack their bags.’ Be understanding throughout this process!

Being a pet parent requires dedication, patience and love. If you are ready to commit to providing those three things, you are on the right track! If you are seeking additional guidance, speak with your veterinarian or professional trainers like our friends from The Freckled Paw or Clever Critters.

Volunteer Spotlight — Community Service

At the VBSPCA, we believe that every person and animal deserves a second chance, and we are proud to offer volunteer opportunities to those fulfilling court ordered community service hours. Community Service Volunteers provide vital support to our full-time staff members, and we are grateful for their dedication to our mission. We asked some of our associates to share some thoughts about Community Service Volunteers, and here is what they had to say:

They are some of the hardest and most dedicated workers. We appreciate their work in the shelter because they assist with the smaller tasks that pile up quickly like laundry, spot cleaning and dishes. Because they complete these tasks, it frees up our time to focus on the more detailed care of the animals.”  – Kennel Care Technician

“When staff are slammed with other tasks, community service volunteers always pick up the slack and help us get everything done. Back in the kennel, we really rely on volunteers just due to the sheer amount of work required to care for all of the dogs. They help us without complaining and always have the best attitude!” – Kennel Care Technician 

“I appreciate that the support from these members of our community don’t stop once their hours are complete. Some have become regular volunteers and a few have even adopted from us!”– Cattery Animal Care Technician

To all of our Community Service Volunteers, both past and present, THANK YOU for all you do for the Virginia Beach SPCA. If you are interested in completing your community service hours with the VBSPCA, please email volunteer@vbspca.com to inquire about our orientation availability. 

Christmas in July — Featured Products

‘Tis the season for compassion! Starting on July 7th and lasting throughout the rest of the month, we are offering a 25% discount on our retail. Stock up on all your pet needs and get a VERY early start on some holiday-themed shopping!

Below we’ve gathered a curated list of some of our favorite products that we use around the shelter. All of our products are quality-tested and proven to last, and all proceeds go back to help care for the animals of the VBSPCA.

Cool Pup Towel –

Keep your furry friend cool by simply wetting in cold water! The towel will keep cool for hours and the fabric is designed to be extra comfortable against your dog’s skin.

 

OllyDog Water Bottle –

The OllyBottle is the perfect solution for you and your dog to share water on the go! Designed for slobber-free sharing with your canine friends. Simply remove the detachable bowl and pour water from your bottle into their bowl. Easily snap back into place when finished.

MollyMutt 3-in-1 Cover –

This product is perfect for keeping your dog comfortable and safe, while keeping dog hair, dirt, water and other outdoor messes off your car’s seats. It also comes with seatbelt slots so passengers can buckle up without removing the cover. There are also adjustable straps and seat anchors to ensure a perfect fit that won’t move around.

Yeowww Catnip Banana –

Treat your feline friend with a great fruit-shaped toy! Cats love the curve and the size makes it perfect for grabbing nuzzling, and bunny kicking. Toy is stuffed completely with organically-grown catnip. Only soy and/or vegetable based dyes that are natural and non-toxic are used. Get a bunch today!

Petstages Tower of Tracks –

Your kitty will never lose another ball under the couch with the Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy. Withthree exciting levels, this interactive toy encourages extended playtime as the colorful balls spin and roll around and around. It’s great for multiple-cat households and independent play because it lets cats enjoy an action-packed afternoon even when you’re not at home. The stacked play station is built to last and features non-skid pads so it won’t move about as your kitty plays.

These items will help you treat your pet while also helping the animals of the VBSPCA. We have many more awesome items for sale, so stop by our shelter during the month to check them out!

 

 

July Compassion in the Community

Summer is in full swing and we have plenty of exciting things happening during this month! You can support the animals of the VBSPCA by running a 5k, buying a shirt to show your Bayfront community pride or getting an insurance quote. We are also thrilled to announce the start of our in-shelter reading program! You can check out a full list of all activities for the month of July below.

Pick up Your Free Pet Emergency Decal – All month long

Stop by the VBSPCA to pick up your FREE Emergency Pet Decal. You can place this on your door or window to alert first responders and rescue teams that there are pets inside the home.

Dog Days of Summer J & A Racing – All month long

June is a wrap, but we’ve still got two months left in the Dog Days of Summer Virtual Race Series! Our friends at j&a racing have put together 5k races in June, July, and August, and there is even a Mutt Mile just for kids. The animals receive $1 from every registration, so sign up today!

Quotes For Good Fundraiser – All month long

For every quote or referral during the month of July, Cooksey Insurance Agency will be donating $5 to the VBSPCA! They will also be donating $1 for every share of their fundraising post on Facebook. We are so grateful for their support of the animals.

A Tale For Two – Every Monday starting July 13th

A Tale for Two is an extension of our Listening Ears Program which pairs a young reader with an animal to make the experience of reading more fun. By bringing the readers to our shelter, our adoptable cats and dogs get to benefit from the positive presence of a child, boosting confidence in both the pet and the person. This in-shelter reading program is open to youth ages 6-13, and visits take place on Monday afternoons between 4pm and 5pm. Visits must be scheduled in advance, and children are invited to bring their own books or they can choose from the VBSPCA library. Click here to schedule your visit.

Bayfront Living T-Shirt Fundraiser – All month long

Grab a limited edition Bayfront Living t-shirt or sweatshirt to show your pride of where you live while supporting our shelter! The shirts will only be available for a limited time and 100% of the proceeds from the campaign benefit the Virginia Beach SPCA. Click here to order one today.

International Day of Friendship – July 30th

The International Day of Friendship is July 30th and the VBSPCA would like to celebrate all the furry friends that make our community better! We will be posting adoption stories on our social media pages and are challenging community members to post a picture with their pets using the hashtag #VBSPCAfurryfriends.

Christmas in July – July 7th-31st

We’re spreading a little holiday spirit this month with a sale! All VBSPCA apparel and select pet products are discounted by 25% ALL MONTH LONG. This is a great time to pick up some VBSPCA swag, some treats and toys for our furry friends, and maybe even some holiday cards for those who like to plan ahead. Stop by Tuesday through Thursday from 11am to 6pm and cash in on some great deals!

All Year Long – Sustainable Support

You can help homeless animals anytime you buy groceries at Kroger! Simply sign up, swipe your Plus Card when you shop, and a portion of the sale will be donated back to the VBSPCA! Sign up to participate here.

Become a Member

As a VBSPCA Member, every adoption we complete, every wildlife animal we rescue, every child we reach, and every pet we treat in our clinic connects back to you. YOU make our mission possible, and all it takes is $10 a month. Plus, VBSPCA members receive exclusive perks and discounts in gratitude for their dedication to sustaining our mission! Interested? Click here to become a VBSPCA Member.

#VBStrong

In solidarity with our two legged and four-legged community, VBStrong T-shirts and tanks are available at the VBSPCA shelter, located at 3040 Holland Road. 100% of the proceeds from these VBStrong shirts will go to families of those who were lost on May 31st, 2019.

The Virginia Beach SPCA is incredibly grateful for the continued support from our local community. If you are interested in hosting a fundraiser or event supporting the VBSPCA, please contact our Outreach Department at outreach@vbspca.com.

7 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe This Fourth of July

More pets go missing during July fourth celebrations than any other time of the year.

Keep pets indoors at all times and provide a safe space where your pet can retreat throughout the holiday weekend. Even obedient pets can get startled and react out of panic, so keep pets inside and provide a quiet, comfortable space where they can retreat. If your pet does end up running off, take action immediately.

Make sure your pet is wearing a current ID tag and that microchip information is up to date.

Have a current photo of your pet on hand. In case your pet does manage to get loose, having a recent photo will allow you to get the word out quickly.

Refill anti-anxiety medications ahead of time. Clinics are not always able to refill your pet’s medication last minute, so plan ahead. If you don’t yet have prescribed medication but your pet has anxiety issues, call your veterinarian.

Use other calming products such as a calming diffuser for cats or an anti-anxiety shirt for dogs. These helpful tools can safely reduce anxiety and are easy to find at most pet stores. You can also play some calming music to help push the sounds of fireworks to the background.

Have treats or a new toy on hand to help distract your pet throughout the holiday. Keeping treats on hand will distract your pet from the human food, and toys will keep your pet’s mind engaged. You can also prepare for the night by providing lots of play and exercise throughout the day to work off extra energy and help relax your pet.

Never light fireworks around your pets. Lighting fireworks around your pet is not only dangerous, but could cause your pet to panic and inflict unintentional self-injury.