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Sunday, May 26, 2024

There’s more than just adoptions going on at this shelter
The cat portion of the shelter has separate cat condos for cats that need more room in addition to the kennels. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/HNNDaily)

NEWPORT NEWS — The Peninsula SPCA is not just a space for adoptable animals.

It’s a space for education, healing and community.

Three years ago, the Peninsula SPCA split from the city and decided to run as an independent animal shelter to better serve the community, said Megan Steele, its interim executive director.

She described the shelter as an adoption guarantee shelter where on average the longest an animal is in their care is two weeks.

In addition to the adoptions, the Peninsula SPCA has a vaccine clinic, offer spay and neuter surgeries at a low cost.

It also has a humane education department where they teach children through camps about taking care of animals and showing them how to treat the animals with compassion.

What animals do they take?

The SPCA is a space for pet owners to surrender their pets. They do not take strays.

Any stray will go to the regional animal shelter and the SPCA works with that shelter to transfer animals that have been cleared, Steele said.

Each animal is given a health check-up to look for heart worm, cat leukemia, fleas and anything else that would need care.

After that they are up for adoption.

The SPCA takes cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, small birds, guinea pigs and ferrets.

They do not take reptiles, amphibians or fish as they do not have the shelter set up for them.

If one of those kinds of animals is brought to them they’ll refer the owner to a regional shelter, Steele said.

The Barnyard

Out behind the shelter’s main building sits an open barn area complete with a farmhouse and separate outdoor kennels.

That’s where the dogs are taken to exercise and the fenced in area is for the petting zoo.

The animals spend their time inside the barn when its too hot to go out. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/HNNDaily)
The animals spend their time inside the barn when its too hot to go out. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/HNNDaily)

The SPCA charges admission to the petting zoo and visitors can come feed the animals.

They have donkeys, chickens, goats, llamas, alpacas, bunnies, peacocks and a tortoise.

All of those animals were either donated or surrendered to the shelter, Steele said.

The whole operation is run by 15 paid staff, half of which are part-time and about 200 volunteers, 100 of which are currently active, she said.

At capacity the shelter would have 40 cats and 24 dogs in addition to their smaller animals.

Right now the shelter has a donation wish list set up on their website where they have everything the shelter needs to run.

A few items that they are in special need of are office supplies, laundry detergent, blankets, towels, paper towels, cleaners, wet and dry food.

To learn more about the Peninsula SPCA, click here. 

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