YWCA SHR Partners with Chesapeake Humane Society to Offer Emergency Pet Sheltering for Clients Escaping Abuse

A- A A+

YWCA SHR Partners with Chesapeake Humane Society to Offer Emergency Pet Sheltering for Clients Escaping Abuse

Categories: News

HAMPTON ROADS, VA – YWCA South Hampton Roads (YWCA SHR) is partnering with Chesapeake Humane Society (CHS) to offer Crisis Boarding to Hampton Roads citizens facing domestic violence and intimate partner violence. The goal of this new program is to eliminate barriers for pet owners seeking social services by offering temporary boarding at low- or no-cost. This program serves as a way to keep pets with their families while they are experiencing temporary hardship such as victims escaping domestic abuse, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, or human trafficking.

This much-needed partnership will allow YWCA SHR clients the peace of mind that their pet will be well taken care of while they seek shelter. The National Survey on Domestic Violence and Pets reports that 97% of respondents said that keeping their pets with them is an important factor in deciding whether or not to seek shelter. The shelter will accept all breeds to provide safety for animals facing emergencies. Owners and families don’t have to worry about breed restrictions as they escape abuse.

“For many of our clients escaping violence, their deciding factor in leaving their abuser is whether their pet has a safe alternative living arrangement as well. Our partnership with Chesapeake Humane Society is critical in our work to save the lives of women, men, and families from life-threatening circumstances,” said Michelle Ellis Young, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA South Hampton Roads

The partnership came to fruition in August 2021 when CHS approached YWCA SHR. CHS’s newest property, located at 1149 New Mill Drive, just off Cedar Road in the Great Bridge area of Chesapeake will be home to the program. The property consists of 3.5 acres with a 7,000 square foot building already outfit with dog runs, plenty of caging, and a large outdoor play yard. The new CHS property will host a designated kennel space for animals surrendered to CHS while their owners find the safety they need without having to worry about leaving their pet in a dangerous situation.

“Our new crisis boarding program will help pets stay with the ones they love at a time when that human-animal bond and companionship is so important. We are here to help the community with what we do best, provide support and care for pets, and we are partnering with wonderful organizations so they can do what they do best, provide support and care for people,” said Lacy Shirey, Executive Director of the CHS.

On Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 11:00 am, YWCA SHR will visit the new shelter on New Mill Drive to sign a Memorandum of Understanding and discuss the necessary services the partnership will address and the positive impact it will have on the community. The event will be live-streamed to Facebook on YWCA SHR’s Facebook page at https://facebook.com/ywcashr/live. Progress on the new CHS shelter’s renovations are currently still ongoing with an anticipated open date of early 2022. The CHS and YWCA SHR are currently seeking donations for the partnership and expansion of services. Contact the YWCA SHR development team for more information at development@ywca-shr.org or 757-625-4248.

Chesapeake Humane Society’s new facility, located at 1149 New Mill Drive in Chesapeake, Virginia. Slated to open early 2022, this facility will serve as a shelter for dogs, cats, and small animals, and offer crisis boarding to the community.


YWCA South Hampton Roads

YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world. Since 1906, YWCA South Hampton Roads has strengthened social movements that eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, and dignity for all. YWCA provides counseling services, medical services, and advocacy to those who have experienced violence. For nearly forty years, YWCA of South Hampton Roads has run its emergency shelter, providing the only place of refuge for families escaping domestic and sexual violence in the City of Norfolk.


About Chesapeake Humane Society

Founded in 1972, Chesapeake Humane Society (CHS) is an independent 501(c)(3) organization. CHS supports homeless animals in Hampton Roads through a variety of programs including an adoption program, low-cost spay/neuter, vaccinations, dental services, heartworm treatments, and soft-tissue surgeries. Visit www.chesapeakehumane.org to learn more about CHS.