NORFOLK, Va. - The sun may have been shining in Hampton Roads Monday, but staff at the Norfolk SPCA know the height of hurricane season is quickly approaching.
Last year, a handful of shelter staff members slept at the facility when a hurricane threatened our area. By packing their bags and staying the night, they ensured that every single one of their animals would be taken care of.
"We roughed it out and took care of animals and made sure that everyone had everything they needed," explained Alyssa Desena, who works at the Norfolk SPCA. "They have to have food and water; they have to go outside to go potty if the storm isn’t too bad, so that is our responsibility."
While staff members are more than willing to spend the night at the shelter to care for their animals, they are asking for donations to help keep their animals fed, safe and comfortable during hurricane season.
On the agency's Facebook page, they have posted a list of supplies they are hoping to collect for their Disaster Preparation Donation Drive. The drive started Sunday and will continue through the week.
Some items needed include canned food, leashes, tarps, bath towels and blankets. The Norfolk SPCA says these items will help them provide care for their animals in case a hurricane hits our area, but they are hoping that the drive will also remind pet owners to prepare for hurricane season now.
"It's educating and encouraging people to have that plan, even if the storm doesn’t hit us - which we hope it won't - but you need to be prepared," said Executive Director Kimberly Sherlaw. "Take a look at some of the resources available online and make your own plan to evacuate with your animals. It is so important; you don’t want to leave them behind."
To help make your hurricane plan, check out these resources listed by the Norfolk SPCA:
- Humane Society of the United States Pet Disaster Preparedness Kit
- ASPCA Disaster Preparedness
- Ready.gov Make a Plan
Donated supplies can be dropped off to the Norfolk SPCA any day of the week between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. You can also buy items off of their Amazon Wish list.