VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - There's a day for everything and Friday, April 30 is a big one for local animal shelters.
It's Adopt a Shelter Pet Day!
To celebrate, Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center is offering half-off adoptions for the weekend.
Shelter operations supervisor Jessica Wilde tells News 3 the shelter has dogs, cats and other animals, like pet rats, available.
But don't let the weekend deal rush you into making a decision. After all, bringing a new pet into your home is a big deal.
"Be open to meeting some animals, do some matchmaker appointments that a lot of shelters are offering and wait until you see that one that really connects with you," she said.
Among the benefits of adoption, Wilde says, are giving a permanent home to an animal that's already lost a home. Adoption fees are also typically affordable, $132 for dogs and $65 for cats in Virginia Beach, with spays, neuters and shots included.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilde says shelter numbers were at historic lows with families stuck at home looking to mix things up with new pets.
Now that people are returning to work and school, some pets are home alone for longer periods of time and, according to Wilde, it can result in behavioral issues. She says right now, Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center is concerned about an influx of returns.
She says families with pets should not wait until the last second to get their animals adjusted.
"Start early. Start before your first day back. Implement some crate training or get them used to being home alone for certain periods of time. You can find some busy toys or chew toys and kind of work them back into it," said Wilde.
At the end of the day, it's all about giving an animal once without a home, a place where they can find love to last a lifetime.