Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Furry Friends Feature: Let’s Play Plinko! It’s Clear the Shelter Time

Imagine you’re on The Price is Right, you hear those famous words calling your name, “come on down, you’re the next contestant!” If playing Plinko is on your bucket list, the Heritage Humane Society is here to make that wish come true.

Clear the Shelters is an annual nationwide initiative that lasts August 1 – 31 and is sponsored by NBC and Telemundo-owned stations. The pet adoption and shelter fundraising initiative is essential to keep these community shelters operating. Interested adopters can come to the Heritage Humane Society, find their perfect pet match, and before paying, they can play Plinko. After dropping a Plinko chip, as it bounces off of pins, zigzagging its way down the board just like on the television show, the chip will land in one of the many prize-winning slots. Winners can enjoy a discounted adoption fee 15%, 20%, 25% or even when a free adoption. With 243 pets currently in the shelter, there are many to choose from.

In 2021, this popular Plinko promotion resulted in 111 homeless pets finding their forever homes throughout Greater Williamsburg.

Potential adopters are encouraged to first go online to visit the available pets up for adoption at the Heritage Humane Society. Adoptions are first come, first serve. Appointments are welcome and adoption hours are from 12 – 4:30 p.m. daily.

Operations Manager Rock Washington knows all too well how important adopting pets from a local shelter is to help communities try to maintain a vital balance with the pet population. The annual Clear the Shelters event helps add a fun twist and draw attention to supporting the community resource.
“My twelve years working for Heritage Humane Society have been a blessing to me! I look forward to every day coming to work to find great homes for our animals and meeting good people willing to add to their own personal family by adopting,” shares Rock Washington, Operations Manager at the Heritage Humane Society. “Some get adopted quicker than others and we provide excellent care for all the animals in our care as they wait to be adopted. Working for a non-profit organization helps you appreciate all the help from a community.”

Who will you play Plinko for?

Every year, an average of 1,500 homeless animals are cared for within the shelter with another 1,200 area pets cared for through its Kibble Kitchen & Beyond, a community outreach program that keeps pets with their families.

From kittens to senior cats, small dogs to large dogs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats and even birds, the Heritage Humane Society offers many furry friends who are eager to connect with their forever family during Clear the Shelters.

Particularly heart-tugging are some of the shelter’s longer residents who are so eager to settle into permanent homes such as Sugar, Tulip, and Zane.

Sugar is tuxedo cat. She is currently living in a foster home. She has buddied up with her foster mom, staying by her side, offering endless cuddles, and enjoying lap time while watching TV. She stays curious gazing out the window at bugs and bees that fly by. While older, she has plenty of “cattitude” as she chases a laser light and plays hide and seek in paper bags.


At 40 lbs., Tulip thinks she’s a lapdog! This snuggle bug loves to be by your side. She is perfectly content hanging out and people watching. She is being treated for heartworms, which, myth buster alert, is not contagious or passed along to people or other pets nor is it confined to homeless pets. A dog can get heartworms from a simple mosquito bite. This lovey sweetheart already has her adoption fee is fully sponsored by Williamsburg Kia, so the only thing standing between her and getting adopted is finding her match with the perfect human companion.


For anyone searching for a dog that is far beyond puppy wiggles, Zane is a chill fellow. This seven-year-old is a mellow marshmallow. A handsome fellow, he’s never met a stranger. He loves being told he’s handsome as much as he gets excited about going for walks. Zane is hoping someone come play Plinko with the intention of adopting him so he can settle into his forever home.


Williamsburg’s first cat café

Visiting adoptable felines has expanded beyond the Heritage Humane Society. With the recent July 16th opening of Schwartzy’s Cat Cove, Williamsburg now has its first cat café. Located in New Town at 5102 Main St. Suite B, Schwartzy’s Cat Cove is affectionately known as the first mate of its neighbor and sister store, The Nautical Dog.

People are welcome to visit the Cat Cove, decorated in a nautical theme with fun perches for the cats to lounge. If someone falls in love with one, the friendly felines at Schwartzy’s Cat Cove are each adoptable through the Heritage Humane Society.

Some HHS staff and Amanda Wilbourne, owner of Nautical Dog and Schwartzy’s Cat Cove, at the cove.

Ways to be a part of Greater Williamsburg’s homeless pet community

Some people are pet lovers who are currently unable to adopt for many reasons such as travel schedules or not living in a place where pets are permitted. The Heritage Humane Society has plenty of options to be sure those folks also feel the love. They are welcome to foster animals, shop in the shelter’s Re-Tail Store, come out to community events such as playing in Make Par for Pets Golf Classic or Drool in the Pool, fulfill items from the shelter’s wish list, and even donate online.

To learn more and join in the fun, visit HeritageHumane.org or call 757-221-0150. Heritage Humane Society is located at 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

Sponsored content by

Related Articles