About Our Shelter...
The mission of the Virginia Beach SPCA is to create a more humane and responsible community by eliminating animal suffering while increasing human compassion.
Shelter Operations Philosophy
The VBSPCA is a wholistic, adoption-focused shelter that accepts owner surrendered animals from throughout the Hampton Roads region. We also accept transfers of animals from other shelters in the region and beyond in order to help promote adoption and prevent euthanasia of animals in areas where shelters do not have the space to accommodate them. We take in over 4,000 companion animals each year, and we aim to find adoptive homes for approximately 90% of those animals.
Our adoption focus means we work to find homes for all the healthy and treatable animals under our care, with euthanasia generally reserved for untreatable and unmanageable animals. Our wholistic approach to increasing adoptions and preventing euthanasia of companion animals includes:
• Providing high volume, low-cost spay/neuter services
• Recruiting, training and supporting a network of foster care providers for animals
• Collaborating with other shelters and rescue groups
• Intensive marketing and adoption promotions, including off-site adoption events
• Medical and behavioral rehabilitation by staff veterinarians and behaviorist
• Extensive use of volunteers, including a behavior modification team who work to resolve barriers to adoption
• Extensive Humane Education programs that teach compassion and responsible pet ownership
• Public relations and community outreach
• Increasing returns of strays to owners by referring all stray animals (except unweaned kittens and puppies) to the public shelter, so that owners of lost pets need only search at one location
We have an open door relinquishment policy. We do not require appointments for owners to surrender their pets, and we attempt to take all animals that are brought to us. Animals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and we accept all animals that can be housed and managed with the resources available to the shelter. Animals that have bitten within the past 10 days are referred to the public shelter.
Sometimes owners come to us to surrender animals for whom owner requested euthanasia is a more compassionate option. We are opposed to animals being exposed to the stresses of a shelter environment when untreatable health problems or unsafe behavior prevent them from being adoption candidates. We also find that some owners have difficulty making end-of–life decisions for older animals for whom euthanasia is the most humane alternative. We provide counseling to owners in these circumstances, and we offer compassionate euthanasia in our clinic, with owner present if desired, as an alternative that prevents unneeded suffering.
If after counseling, an owner of a medically untreatable or behaviorally unrehabilitatable animal still prefers to surrender their pet rather than request a compassionate euthanasia, we will accept the animal into the shelter and will inform the owner that euthanasia is the probable outcome. If owners do not wish to relinquish their pet to us, they may be counseled regarding other resources, such as breed-specific rescues, or public shelters.
Despite our best efforts to find forever homes for all the animals that come into our care, some animals after being accepted into the shelter become untreatably ill and must be euthanized. Others may develop or display behavior or emotional problems that make them unsafe or unsuitable for adoption into a home. Those animals are also humanely euthanized. Our philosophy is compassion-based, with alleviation of suffering and quality of life being our prime considerations when making the difficult, but sometimes necessary, decision to euthanize an animal.
Our goal is to be fully transparent about our policies, and we are very proud of our outcomes. People evaluating our services should know that it is very rare that we do not accept an animal, and the vast majority of the animals we accept are successfully placed in loving homes.
Our Adoption Process...
1. Visit our shelter at 3040 Holland Rd., or our Pet Supplies &Adoption Center (983 Providence Square Shopping Center). Read the cage cards located on each cage or kennel.
2. If you find an animal you are interested in and have read the information about the animal, ask a cattery or kennel technician to assist you. They will remove the animal from the cage and escort you to a visitation room.
3. Spend some time interacting with the animal outside the cage. Ask questions. Be sure this is the right animal for you.
4. If you would like to fill out an application for the animal, let your technician know. They'll get you started.
5. You'll take the completed application to the front desk for review.
6. All household members must visit with the animal before the adoption can be finalized.
7. Anyone wishing to adopt a dog or puppy that currently has a dog or puppy at home must do a dog introduction at the shelter. This is arranged AFTER the vet and residence check have been completed.
8. In order to adopt from the VBSPCA, you must live within 75 miles of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
9. All animals adopted from the VBSPCA will be spayed or neutered. After surgery, you will attend a brief post-op care class. After class, your animal will be released to you.
10. You must have a collar and leash for your adopted dog, or a collar and carrier for your new cat/kitten before leaving the shelter. You can bring these items with you at the time of pick-up, or you can purchase them from the VBSPCA.
What to Bring With You
Valid Photo ID
If you own your home: A copy of your mortgage statement
If you rent: A copy of your lease stating your landlord’s Pet Policy –or—your landlord’s name and phone number
If you have other pets: Vaccination records and your veterinarian’s name and phone number