Isle of Wight shelter, other groups finding homes for animals seized, surrendered in June

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Posted at 10:40 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 22:48:24-04

ISLE OF WIGHT Co., Va. - It has been a busy summer for Isle of Wight County Animal Services and other animal shelters and rescues around Hampton Roads working to find homes for many animals found at an Isle of Wight County home.

Last month, News 3 first told you about the case where county officials found and took in more than 250 animals from a single home. Many of the animals are dogs and were either seized or surrendered voluntarily.

“You hope you never have to deal with situations of this magnitude,” Isle of Wight Co. Sheriff’s Office Capt. Tommy Potter said. “When you throw domesticated animals in with large amounts of livestock, you begin to have all kinds of logistical obstacles that you have to overcome.”

Since News 3’s original story on the case, Potter said the focus was making sure all animals were healthy.

Those voluntarily surrendered went to local farms and rescues to go through the adoption process.

Meanwhile, a large portion of the animals seized went back to the homeowner's family.

“After they made some serious improvements to a number of the kennels and to the area where some of these animals were housed, we were actually able to return some of those animals back to the family. A number that is much more manageable for them to handle,” Potter said. “Everyone stepped up to the plate to make this whole situation work out to a good conclusion.”

For Kimberly Laska and others at Heritage Humane Society, they took action to bring in more four-legged friends this summer.

“I think anytime people get a hold of a story, they’d like to be a part of the solution,” Laska said. “When they call for help, we know that it’s a legitimate need and that we should do what we can to try and step in, just like they would for us.”

Her crew helped six dogs from the Isle of Wight County case find forever homes.

“Socially, they were very shut down. But, when it came to their actual health, we were very fortunate with the ones that we took,” Laska said of the dogs. “We have gotten follow up emails [and] they seem to be doing really well.”

“We are pretty blessed, here in the greater Williamsburg area, to have so many fosters,” Laska added. “We have about 80 foster families. So, we knew that our resources would probably be a little bit more able to help spread that love just a little bit.”

As of Friday, six rabbits and four roosters remain at the Isle of Wight County shelter.

Laska said teamwork is key in situations like this.

“I think the fact that so many have been adopted just shows that they really do have a lot of support there in their local community and beyond,” she said.

For her, it’s also a reminder for folks to adopt and not shop.

“Not only are you making a difference for that one animal that you’re adopting, [but] you’re opening up that kennel space for another animal that needs to come in,” Laska said.

Potter said other agencies helping out include Bay Beagle Rescue, Richmond SPCA, Richmond Animal Care, Sussex Animal Control and Surry Animal Control.