Pet-friendly emergency shelters you can choose ahead of Hurricane Florence

Posted at 7:24 AM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 07:25:19-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Thousands have been told to evacuate on the Outer Banks and Eastern Shore and in Hampton Roads ahead of Hurricane Florence.

The powerful storm is expected to make landfall on the coasts of North and South Carolina on Thursday.

In order to prepare, many people are heading north seeking shelter with family or friends but there are also shelters available for those in need.

Many of the emergency shelters opening ahead of Hurricane Florence have your pets well-being in mind. Animals are welcome in at least one location in every city.

Owners should bring the appropriate pet supplies such as a crate, litter box, food, medications, collar, leash, medical records, water/food bowls, a photo of you and your pet for identification, and bedding.

Emergency shelters that allow pets aren't the only option. Some veterinarians may board the animals or they can stay with you at a pet-friendly hotel.

When it comes to hotels, you may have heard the rumor that by law, they must accommodate your pets. That is false. The FEMA website reports, "there are reports all emergency shelters and hotels are required to accommodate pets for people who have evacuated. This is FALSE.

The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act (Pub. L. 109-308 (2006)) requires all state, local, tribal, and territorial governments that receive FEMA assistance to make plans to accommodate household pets and service animals during emergencies."

Some shelters are not pet-friendly but here are a few that are:


  • Pet-friendly shelters are located at Bayview Recreation Center and Berkley Community Center.
  • Like the other shelters, it will be announced when the shelter is available and accepting pets.  Be sure to bring your pet's shelter permitted provisions.


  • Nansemond River High School, 3301 Nansemond Parkway (ADA compliant, pet-friendly, generator power for emergency lighting and to support the kitchen freezers only).


  • Bethel High School, 1067 Big Bethel Rd, Hampton, VA 23666. The shelter opened at 11 a.m. on Tuesday September 11th.

Virginia Beach:

  • For people in Zone A who need shelter arrangements for pets, the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center at 341 S. Birdneck Road will assist with boarding pets.
  • For Virginia Beach residents who are relocating to a shelter and need boarding for a pet, the City is opening Landstown Elementary School, 2212 Recreation Drive, Thursday, Sept.13 at 8 a.m. Employees with the Animal Care and Adoption Center will be staffing this shelter.
    • Available only to Virginia Beach residents who are relocating to an area shelter
    • Residents will be required to show picture ID with proof of address to utilize shelter
    • Intake times: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday
    • Only dogs and cats will be accepted
      • Owners will be required to sign liability waiver upon entry
      • Cats must arrive in a carrier/enclosure and dogs must be securely on a leash
      • Dog crates and appropriate cat housing will be available on-site or bring your own
      • Bring medications, food, bedding/toys
      • Aggressive animals and those with known medical issues above the capabilities of the emergency shelter will not be accepted. Animals with known contagious diseases will also not be accepted
    • Owners must return to retrieve their pets within 12 hours of the closing of the shelters for humans
    • Call 385-7460 to discuss further details and ensure space availability. Space is limited (200 pets) and will be first come, first served.


  • Churchland Middle School at 4051 River Shore Rd will open on Wednesday September 12 at 1 p.m. Cats and dogs are welcome, but are limited to animals per household.
  • The City has identified and announced 20 Evacuation Pick-Up Points where residents can board buses and be transported to an Emergency Shelter from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Click here for those sites.


  • Indian River Community Center at 250 Old Greenbrier Road is pet-friendly, but is a pet-only shelter.  The shelter will open at 7 a.m. on Thursday. So you can bring your animal and they will be provided a crate to stay in. The owner must provide bedding items and food. You will not be able to stay with your pet in this shelter.

Newport News

  • Dogs and cats are allowed in the Warwick High School (51 Copeland Ln, Newport News, VA 23601) shelter with their pets. The building will open at 12 p.m. on Wednesday September 12th.
  •  Pet owners should bring the appropriate pet supplies such as a crate, litter box, food, medications, collar, leash, medical records, water/food bowls, a photo of you and your pet for identification, and bedding. Owners must remain at the shelter with their pets (no drop-offs). Animals must be in cages.

Dare County

  • A pet-friendly animal shelter opened on Tuesday, September 11 at 2 p.m. at Knightdale High School (located at 100 Bryan Chalk Lane, Knightdale, NC 27545). All residents must show a valid ID with a Dare County address for entry. While in the shelter, owners are responsible for the feeding, care, clean-up, and behavior of their pets.
  • All pet-friendly shelters require vaccination records for each pet.

Currituck County

  • Residents who evacuate can seek shelter at the Kirkwood Adams Community center located at 1100 Hamilton Street, Roanoke Rapids , NC 27870. The facility will be open to residents on Wednesday, September 12 at 8 a.m.
  • This is a pet-friendly shelter for dogs and cats only. Pets will be kept in a separate area, with crates provided for the animals. Owners will have to care for their animals and must bring food, blankets, and any other pet needs.

If you know of any other pet-friendly shelters email us at

Click here to track Hurricane Florence