Summer surge: Portsmouth Humane Society full, renters facing eviction look for help

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Posted at 1:38 PM, Aug 09, 2021

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Thousands of people in our area are scrambling for a place to live despite the extension of the eviction moratorium to October 3.

It can be a heartbreaking scenario. Nowhere to go and with a pet by their side, some folks are turning to shelters to help take care of their pets should they not find immediate housing.

"Every day we are seeing roughly 10 new animals coming in, and we are not adopting out at that rate," said Alison Fechino, executive director of the Portsmouth Humane Society.

Their shelter is full of cats, dogs and small animals who have been surrendered this summer.

"We are getting calls for folks already asking, 'What are my options if I get evicted? Can you take my pet?'" said Fechino.

The eviction moratorium that was set to expire on July 31 has caused trickle-down effects on pets.

"Issues with landlords are one of the top three reasons people cite when bringing their pets to the shelters for surrender," she said.

The moratorium has been extended to October 3, but even so, Fechino is worried about the influx of furry friends.

"If we run out of kennels, we can put pop up kennels in hallways temporarily, but if we don't have human beings to care for animals, we are stretching resources too far," she said.

It is a double whammy: They, too, are strapped for workers to care for the animals, coupled with too many coming in.

"Surrendering a pet to shelter is a heartbreaking decision. While it should be last option for some, it comes to that quicker than others," Fechino said.

They are able to put a temporary hold on a pet for those facing evictions for 30 days, but only if they have the space.

"We are doing our best to keep our heads above water," she said.

Right now, they are begging for the communities help to adopt these furry friends to clear up some space or even consider fostering.

Related: There is still hope for renters even after moratorium expires, property management director explains

"Foster homes gives us an opportunity to put a pet in loving, caring environment temporarily."

The Portsmouth Humane Society is currently waiving adoption fees through August 13 and is offering flexible foster opportunities.

For more information, click here.