BY PETER DUJARDIN Daily press
Newport News animal protection officers seized more than 80 animals from two Poquoson homes last week as an investigation is ongoing.
Acting on a tip, officers seized 88 pets – 71 dogs, 10 cats, six hamsters and a guinea pig – from homes on Wednesday “due to unsanitary conditions and a lack of veterinary care”, a said Newport News City spokesperson Kim Lee.
“A lot of animals have medical issues and are being treated,” Lee said, adding that charges are pending against pet owners.
A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in York-Poquoson General District Court to determine whether the City of Newport News can take ownership of the animals. Meanwhile, the seizure has prompted local regional animal shelters – many of which are running out of space – to issue a joint statement asking local residents to adopt more pets.
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Lee said 68 animals were seized from a house in Curson Court, while the other 20 – all dogs – were seized from a house in Trottwood Drive. There was no indication that the owners were selling the animals, but instead kept them as pets.
Newport News provides animal services to the City of Poquoson on a contract basis. Newport News Animal Welfare — a division of city government — made the seizures in coordination with the Poquoson Police Department and Poquoson Fire Department and an animal shelter run by Newport News. The animals were all taken to the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter on Jefferson Avenue in Newport News. It is a city-run facility serving Newport News, Hampton, York County and Poquoson.
Since the pet owners did not voluntarily give them up, Lee said the animals are currently “awaiting seizure” and cannot be adopted.
“In many cases like this, the owners turn the animals over to us,” Lee said. “But that’s not the case in this situation.”
Two seizure cases are scheduled for civil court on Tuesday involving two Poquoson women.
Lee said Newport News taking ownership of the pets would allow the regional shelter to “start the process” of preparing the pets for adoption, with the city working with various partner agencies to do so.
The Peninsula Regional Animal Sanctuary is “already full” and has limited space to accommodate many new animals, Lee said. Among the animals currently at the shelter are dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, a bearded dragon and a dove. This lack of capacity, she says, is typical of shelters in the region.
“A lot of them are very comprehensive,” she said.
On Monday, several area animal shelters and humane societies — in Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Newport News, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg — referenced the Poquoson case and issued a joint statement about the urgent need for people to adopt. pets. Medium to large dogs are the greatest need, the joint statement said.
“Each of our municipal shelters in Hampton Roads has had to deal with a large influx of animals at one time or another,” says Lacy Shirey, executive director of the Chesapeake Humane Society. “Private and public shelters in our region remain committed to collaborating and supporting each other during times like this so that we can ease the burden on any shelter, especially at this time, as our shelters are all dangerously at risk. full capacity.”
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