Saturday, December 2, 2023

How many homeless pets got their holiday wish for a new home this year?

Duncan and Colonel hang out in the cat colony room at Heritage Humane Society Dec. 27. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)
Duncan and Colonel hang out in the cat colony room at Heritage Humane Society Dec. 27. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)

Those who asked for a new dog or cat this year in Williamsburg might have found themselves in luck: holiday season adoptions increased at Greater Williamsburg’s area animal shelter.

Holiday season adoptions at Heritage Humane Society increased more than 12 percent from 2017 to 2018.

There were more than 20 adoptions on the Saturday before Christmas.

“It’s one of our busiest times of year,” humane society Executive Director Kimberly Laska said.

Heritage Humane Society encourages people to adopt pets after doing their research and ensuring the pet is a good match.

Here’s how many homeless pets got their Christmas wish for a new home this year from Nov. 23 to Dec. 26:

Animal and Adoptions Ambassador Jasmine Jutras said there were “a lot more” kittens at the shelter this year, which are popular for holiday adoptions.

“I think we’ve done a better job getting the word out about what we do and the services we provide,” Laska said.

Beyond adoptions, Heritage also helped reunite 24 lost pets with their owners during the holidays, versus 14 last year.

The best match

With every intake, Heritage works to build a behavior profile for each animal to ensure it goes to a home that’s the best fit.

“People trust that we screen and vet our animals,” Laska said.

The animal shelter also took in a few more animals than last year: Between Nov. 23 and Dec. 26, Heritage had 118 incoming animals, versus 102 in 2017.

In total, the shelter took in 1,785 animals in 2018, according to intake records. Some of those animals were not able to be adopted because of medical or severe behavioral issues, although Heritage euthanizes less than 10 percent of its intakes, Laska said.

Heritage is an open-admission shelter, meaning it must accept all animals brought in by animal control from James City County, Williamsburg and District 1 of York County.

To learn more about Heritage Humane Society and how to volunteer or donate, visit the shelter website.

“The only reason we’re able to provide the services we do … is because of the generosity of people who donate to us,” Laska said.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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