Dear Friends of Chesapeake Humane Society,
We are quickly approaching the one-year mark of modified operations and restrictions we would never have imagined feasible due to the pandemic. The care we provide to the pets in our adoption program and through our veterinary clinic is essential service so our team hasn’t skipped a beat over the past ten months. It’s been stressful and trying more often than not, however, we are grateful that we have not had to furlough or lay off any staff members as so many other companies have had no choice but to do so.
Throughout the pandemic, Chesapeake Humane Society’s (CHS) services continue to be in high demand. We have seen a significant increase in adoptions and fostering as families are home more often. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have seen an increase in need for our low-cost veterinary services and pet pantry assistance as folks are financially impacted by the pandemic.
A little back story about CHS – as you may know, our sheltering model is a bit different from the traditional shelter model. Throughout the years we have refined our program to help shelters in our region as they need support with caring for homeless pets. We work to transfer animals in from our shelter partners as they need assistance due to space, behavioral needs, or medical needs.
We often take in animals that require a lot of time and money to care for such as heartworm positive dogs, litters of kittens and puppies, and FIV+ felines, to name a few. All of these animals deserve a second chance at life and we are here to help provide that for them.
This model works well for our region and we plan to continue building off this structure as we expand our shelter program. Last spring, we embarked on a plan to expand and by happenstance, we had an incredible opportunity presented to us by one of our long-time partners, The Las Gaviotas Pet Hotel and associated Animal Assistance League here in Great Bridge. It’s an opportunity many organizations only dream of – the gift of a building and property.
It was certainly a poignant moment as they brought their operations to a close and turned the building over to CHS. The Pet Hotel and Animal Assistance League was a staple in our community for nearly 30 years. We are committed to put the property to good use and save the lives of many shelter pets. Our mission is aligned with that of Animal Assistance League and we vow to build on the good work that they’ve accomplished in our community.
In the coming months, we will be doing some renovations to our new building located at 1149 New Mill Drive to suit our programmatic needs. We hope to be open to the public later this year. Once renovations are completed, the New Mill Drive location will serve as a dedicated sheltering facility for CHS and our location on Battlefield Blvd will continue as our low-cost veterinary clinic.
This new building will greatly expand our shelter program and we plan to offer a new, much-needed service in our community for crisis-based boarding. We are currently exploring partnerships with local human service organizations to offer pet boarding to individuals and families escaping domestic violence or facing other hardships such as displacement from a fire or boarding needs due to unforeseen medical procedures. Our new crisis-based boarding program will help pets stay with the ones they love at a time when that human-animal bond and companionship is so important.
Whether you are familiar with CHS or not, I invite you to get to know us better over the coming year. We have a lot of exciting goals ahead of us and I hope you’ll continue to support us in our venture.
If you’d like to make a gift to support our expansion project, please reach out to CHS Executive Director, Lacy Shirey, at 757-401-6201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lacy S. Shirey, Executive Director
Chesapeake Humane Society