Hampton no-kill shelter facing possible closure

Posted at 3:13 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 15:14:11-05

HAMPTON, Va. - Tanner has been at the Animal Aid Society in Hampton for more than a decade.

But soon, the terrier mix - and 40 other dogs - could soon be without a home.

“Over the years, we have done well in building up our shelter,” the shelter’s president, Sharon Bilyj, explained. “Unfortunately, with the change in the 2016 laws we’re no longer in compliance with the state.”

Because of changes in state legislature, volunteers told News 3 the nearly 50-year-old facility is outdated and they must they must build a new shelter.

If not, they could be forced to close or face expensive fines.

“We are working very hard to get up to compliance,” Biljy explained.

One problem is the outside kennels.

“They have the indoor area, which is heating and A/C,” Kelly Loer, the social media manager, said. “You have the outdoor area, which is dirt and not temperature-controlled, so they cannot be cleaned and sanitized properly. So, if a dog has worms, you cannot clean that run with it being dirt.”

On a day rainy day, volunteers told News 3 reporter Brian Hill another issue they deal with is flooding.

Related: Looking for your next furry friend? Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption center overflowing with pets 

“It's been an ongoing issue and over the years, it progressively keeps getting worse and worse and worse,” Loer said.

Many plans are already in place for the new, updated facility, including moving the dogs to an open space in front of the property.

The current housing area “will become our walking area, and what we have planned for that is nature trails, shaded areas, benches."

But the rebuild will cost the shelter around $2 million - money the non-profit doesn’t have.

“We have the land, we have the vision, we have the plan. Right now, what we need is the funds,” Biljy said.

With the shelter rebuild looming over their heads, volunteers said they "are in urgent need of funds."

"We are looking to find a business or private donor that would be willing to match our GivingTuesday donations on December 3," Loer said.

If you would like to help the facility, you can call Loer at (757) 453-4164. You can also contact Bilyj at (757) 214-6223.

To find out more about how you can help, click here.