Clear the Shelters: Local shelters offer tips to keep pets healthy

WAVY Photo/Marielena Balouris

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – For our second “Clear the Shelters” story, we visited the Norfolk SPCA and Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center to learn about caring for pets.

Inside the Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center, you’ll find hundreds of adoptable animals.  Between 400 and 600 animals come in per month, to give you a ballpark.  In the summer months, that number is on the higher end.

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“There are more human/animal conflicts, they’re outside, we’re outside, “said Barbara Hays, who is the Bureau Manager at the Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center.  “Unfortunately it’s also breeding season.”

It’s also hot outside, so pet owners need to be extra attentive to their furry friends.

“If it’s too hot for you to be outside, your animal is wearing a fur coat so keep that in mind,” Hays said.  “Early morning exercise or exercise after the sun goes down are the best times to do it.  Keep it light, be careful of hot pavement, hot sand.”

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of your pet during the year, and places like the Norfolk SPCA are here to help.  They offer a public vet clinic, and last year 11,000 animals came through their vaccine clinic.

“It’s really important that people vaccinate their pets for so many reasons,” said Rob Blizard, Executive Director of the Norfolk SPCA.  “If they don’t and the animal gets sick, of course you don’t want your dog or cat to suffer.”

At the Norfolk SPCA, they do about 1,000 adoptions per year.  They hope people step inside when they’re considering that perfect pet.

“People have a lot of options where they get their pets, we want people to think of a shelter first.  These animals are homeless and need to find homes,” said Blizard.

At the Norfolk SPCA, you can adopt adult cats and dogs for $20.  Babies and puppies are $40.

At the Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center, you can adopt cats, kittens, and rabbits for $25.  Dogs are $50.