People Taking Action: Local grocery store manager is passionate fostering homeless dogs!

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - She is quite the lover of dogs - so much that News 3 is on our way to surprise a local woman at the Food Lion store she manages in the Hilton Village section of Newport News.

Helen Spencer holds down a full-time job, juggles mom and wife duties, all while taking action for our furry friends.  We showed up at her store with her husband, her two daughters were there too and Helen's sister Page Byrne.

Once Helen was contacted by store employees and made it to the front of the store and saw her family and News 3 cameras, she knew something was up. I told it all started with an email from her sister Page.

"I wanted to make you aware of an outstanding citizen in Newport News. She is absolutely selfless. If there's bad weather in the area she's at Food Lion making sure the community has what they need to get through the storms," Page said.

Page also mentioned all the volunteer work her sister does helping 4 Paws Animal Rescue, a local dog rescue.  Helen believes she's cared for more than 185 dogs over the years.

"She's not just a manager of a grocery store; she supports her community. I'd love to see her recognized," Page added in her email.

And that's exactly what News 3 did. We presented her with a News 3 People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.  Helen was stunned!

"Oh my gosh! It's overwhelming! Whew... thank you!" she exclaimed.

Helen admits it's demanding, but worth it.

"Right now we have four very tiny puppies that have to be hand-fed. It's a lot of work, but it's also very rewarding 'cause you get puppy snuggles like everyday!" she said.