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Norfolk SPCA celebrates 125th anniversary

NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk SPCA turns 125 years old on February 12!

To celebrate, the SPCA is holding two special events during the weekend.

“Helping animals and people in our community for 125 years is a remarkable accomplishment for which so many in our community should feel proud. Every year, we are saving and improving thousands of lives. Multiply that by 125 and you can just imagine all the transformations and victories that the Norfolk SPCA has made possible,” said Executive Director Rob Blizard, who has been working at the shelter since 2012 with a staff of more than 40 animal-loving professionals.

On Friday, the Norfolk SPCA held a gala at the Norfolk Botanical Garden elebrating its twelve and a half decades serving Hampton Roads. The theme of the gala was "A Forever Home Is Where the Heart Is." Two hundred guests were in attendance.

Attorney General Mark Herring was honored at the gala for the creation of the first Attorney General's Animal Law unit, which works to serve as a resource for local law enforcement and state agencies on issues involving animal cruelty.

Coast Live's April Woodard and Cheryl Nelson emceed the event!

ODU President John Broderick served as the keynote speaker for the event. City Council members Angelia Williams Graves and Thomas Smigiel read a special proclaimation signed by Mayor Kenneth Alexander. Hampton Roads historian Robert Hitchings provided a brief history of the Norfolk SPCA.

The second event marking the anniversary is a birthday party on Sunday. News 3's Kristen Crowley will blow out the candles at the event, which takes place at the shelter's Ballentine Boulevard location at 1:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring birthday presents. Click here to view for gift ideas from the organization's wish list.