On Friday afternoon, Virginia’s Norfolk Animal Care & Adoption Center sent out a social media plea to their community.
“WE NEED YOUR HELP!” the post read. “All city offices including our shelter will close to the public from March 16-30th as a precaution during the COVID-19 epidemic. Pet adoptions will be suspended during the closure. And that means, WE NEED AS MANY ANIMALS AS POSSIBLE TO FIND HOMES ASAP!”
The closure order was set to go into effect Monday, giving staff just a couple of days to find homes for every dog, cat, guinea pig, etc. in their care.
Almost immediately, the office computers began to chime and ding, indicating new emails from potential adopters and foster parents eager to help out amid the crisis.
“I could hear from the different offices things like, ‘Oh!’ and ‘Oh, my!’” shelter manager Michelle Dosson told The Virginian Pilot as she recalled the reactions of staff members and volunteers to the hundreds of responses.
Come Saturday morning, the lobby was packed. By the time the shelter closed on Sunday, every single animal had found a home – including some from NACC’s sister shelter in Newport News.
The adopted pets include 24 dogs, 23 cats, and three guinea pigs. Fifty were permanently adopted, and five found foster homes.
Based on Saturday’s community response, Dosson contacted the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter in Newport News to see if they needed help placing some of their adoptable pets. On Sunday they sent over eight cats and seven dogs — all of which found homes that very day!
“The one word to describe it would be magical,” said Dosson. “We had the community coming out in droves to help us.”
Norfolk Animal Care & Adoption Center is currently closed to the public until city offices reopen, but the staff will continue to pick up loose animals according to Dosson. Unclaimed pets will go into foster care while the facility is closed, and be put up for adoption once it opens again.
H/T to The Virginian Pilot
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