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Virginia Beach animal shelter at capacity; how you can help

They're also encouraging dog owners to get their furry family members microchipped.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center says it's at "critical capacity." Now, workers are pleading for the community's help, so they can make room for pets who need it most.

Jessica Wilder, the manager at the center, shared their challenges, and how they're trying to make it easier for you to take home a furry friend.

"We're seeing an overcapacity situation in the shelter currently," Wilder said. 

"We've been seeing a surge in dog intakes from the first of this month to today. We've had 89 dogs come in and it's just a lot of dogs to accommodate in a very short amount of time and that is a mixed bag," she continued.

"So we get stray pets as well as owner surrenders here. We're asking our community to help by keeping your pets home. Proper identification for your pet at home is key," she said.

Wilder is hoping current pet owners will take advantage of an upcoming opportunity to take a couple of simple steps to keep their pet safe and make sure if it does wander away and gets picked up by animal control, the shelter can quickly reunite them with your furry family member.

"We're doing a rabies vaccine (and microchip) clinic on Tuesday. That's a great opportunity if you don't have your pet microchipped. It can prevent animals from coming here in the first place.

"We've been seeing high populations for a number of months now, but 89 in eight days is pretty significant.

"There's still a handful of dogs that still need to get hung on that board, so it's a lot of dogs," Wilder said while pointing to the bulletin board where they hang the information sheets about available animals.

Elizabeth Manuel was at the shelter looking for a dog to adopt. 

"I was in back there looking at a couple of them that we were interested in and Beano came right in and he was playful and cute and really snugly," she said.

"He just had this like kind of quirky, fun, hyped-up energy. They're so appreciative and they literally get so attached to you," she told 13News Now.

"Currently we offering waived adoption fees for dogs," Wilder said. "If you're interested in adopting, come down to the shelter. We will help you find a great fit for your family."

"We have a couple of adoption criteria that you can look on to our website, but otherwise we will help you find a new companion," Wilder concluded.

You can get a microchip for your pet at the walk-in clinic Tuesday. It's from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center at 341 South Birdneck Rd.

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