Safekeepers Program

In the last few years, we have noticed more and more owner surrender requests due to a temporary circumstance.  We have had families that found themselves in between housing situations after being laid off from their job and they had no place for their pets to stay while they searched for new lodging. We had instances of individuals being hospitalized and no one to care for their pet.  One couple was being forced to surrender their dog because it was a couple pounds over the weight limit at their apartment complex.  The reasons varied but they all had the same thing in common.  They were dealing with some type of temporary challenge and they were facing the heart-wrenching decision to surrender their pet. It became very clear that we needed to do something to help these people keep their pets.  From this need “Safekeepers” was born. 

In just six months we had already helped ten pets with temporary shelter, food, and medical care.  They received vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery prior to being returned to their owners.  We are here to help pets AND their people. We have found there is a definite need in our community for this type of emergency sheltering.

We hope to continue growing this program in order to meet our community’s needs. 

Safekeepers wouldn’t be possible without the support from our partners The Petco Foundation and the Karie Ermatinger Family who supported our efforts from the very beginning.  Their support has ensured that we could keep these pets safe and return them to their owners in order to preserve the pet and people bond they have formed with their families.  We know this is just the beginning of many bonds that will not be broken due to a temporary circumstance. 

If you are interested in supporting the Peninsula SPCA’s Safekeepers program please e-mail

Humane Education Saturday Morning Camps

Saturday Morning Camps at the Peninsula SPCA

Ocamp1ctober 28, 2017

November 18, 2017

December 16, 2017

9:00am to 12:00pm – Grades 2-5

Cost: $20 per session

Join us for three hours of fun time with the Humane Ed and Barnyard animals, visit with the shelter pets, and enjoy some fun crafts and hands-on activities!


Register Now



Raise the Woof!

raise-the-woof-fb-event2femail-1Join us Saturday, August 6, 2-5pm at Peninsula Fine Arts Center

A project benefiting PFAC and the Peninsula SPCA

Tickets: $35 for Humans, Pets are free.

Event features: afternoon barbecue, raffle prizes, on-site pet portraits, gourmet pet snacks, cash bar with beer and wine.

See unique dog houses, cat condos, rabbit hutches, bird houses, chicken coops, and pet furniture, designed and built by local builders, architects, artists, and students!

Entries will be featured in the RAISE THE WOOF silent auction and sold to benefit PFAC and the Peninsula SPCA. Entries will also be eligible for cash prizes totaling $1000, selected by our celebrity judges. Each entry submission receives 2 tickets to the event!

More event info!

Call for Raise the Woof Entries

Entry Guidelines

CNU Bingo Night! to benefit PSPCA

cnu bingo B I N G O

Fall Family Fun Day

Join us at the SPCA Petting Zoo for family fun, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, October 10, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.  $5 per child, includes Petting Zoo admission and children’s activities.

  • Create Pumpkin Candy Pouches and your own Halloween mask
  • Decorate a gourd for Halloween – cats, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns (while supplies last)
  • Make a mini scarecrow and ghost pops!

SPCA Egg Hunt Bigger Than Ever

IMG_4418 The birds were chirping and the sun was shining- it was a perfect day for the SPCA Egg Hunt! The 2nd Annual SPCA Easter Egg Hunt was on Saturday, April 12, 2014. In attendance were nearly 200 children and their parents, representing the largest number of people to be in the Petting Zoo at one time. Additional parking was available thanks to Hampton Roads Crane & Rigging and Richmond Steel. At the event, children could take pictures with the “Easter Puppy”, snack on baked-goods from the bake sale, and of course, hunt for eggs. The SPCA Easter Egg Hunt took place in the petting zoo- animals and all! Alongside our goats and llama, children looked high and low for colorful Easter eggs, which were hidden throughout the entire barnyard. Fitting with the theme, the even cow from the Chick-Fila-A at Christopher Newport made an appearance. Every child received a goody bag filled with candy, free petting zoo passes, and items from the YMCA, Newport News Libraries, and Rebounderz. With a registration fee of just $5 per child, the Easter Egg Hunt raised $1,001 for the homeless animals of the Peninsula. On July 1, the Peninsula SPCA will become an “Adoption Guarantee shelter” and will rely solely on donations and support from the surrounding community. Save the date for next year’s egg hunt: March 28, 2015!

Eagle Scout Saves SPCA Nearly $1,500

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Sean Englund first contacted Billy Houpt, Peninsula SPCA Operations and Petting Zoo Manager, about two months ago. Sean wanted to know if he could create an Eagle Scout Project to benefit the Peninsula SPCA and already knew what he wanted to do — he wanted to build dog beds.  Without any hesitation, Billy let him know that he had the support of the Peninsula SPCA and go ahead and move forward with his project.

Sean is from Troop 94 from Tabb, Virginia.  To become an Eagle Scout, part of the requirements dictate that the scout must to plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or their community, without any help from anyone other than his troop. Sean graciously chose the Peninsula SPCA. He spent a total of about 60 hours planning for this project and gathering the materials, which were all donated. Sean approached Signature Canvas in Hampton, in hopes that they would donate the canvas for the beds, and they did. Once he had canvas, Fast Nails agreed to donate fasteners (to hold the PVC piping together) and the PVC piping was donated by a hair dresser and a construction company.  With the help of his fellow troop members, Sean completed the construction of twenty-five beds  in about five hours.

After couple of months and a lot of hard work, Sean presented his completed Eagle Scout Project to the SPCA on Saturday, March 29. His proud parents, his Scout Master, and several other young men from his troop were all in attendance for this great accomplishment. Sean donated twenty-five Kuranda-style dog beds that can be used in the dog runs and the outside kennels.  If the Peninsula SPCA purchased these Kuranda dog beds, they would be $57.00 each. Thanks to Sean, this saves the Peninsula SPCA about $1425.00.  Sean designed and built these beds according to the specifications of Kuranda.

Sean’s outstanding leadership skills have not only saved the Peninsula SPCA nearly $1,500, but they have also positively impacted the lives of homeless animals as they are awaiting their forever homes.

Sean’s father let Billy know the reason Sean chose to do his Eagle Scout Project for the Peninsula SPCA– the dog that he and his family adopted from the Peninsula SPCA years ago recently passed away and this was Sean’s way of giving back.

2014 Easter Egg Hunt

Easter bunny dachshund.

It’s time to get egg-cited for our annual Easter Egg Hunt! Please join us for an egg hunt in our Petting Zoo on Saturday, April 12th at 11 a.m. The egg hunt will begin at 11:30 so please make sure to arrive on time to check in! This event is open to children of all ages! Plus, there will be an area for younger children to easily find eggs!   In addition to the egg hunt, there will be tasty treats on sale, prepared by Peninsula SPCA volunteers and staff members!  Say Cheese- the “Easter Puppy” will be ready for his close-up; we will be offering free digital pictures with our Easter Puppy! Photos will be available to download online for free, a few days after the event.

Please RSVP for the egg hunt to ensure that there will be enough eggs for all of the children! A $5 donation per child will be collected the day of the egg hunt (cash and check accepted). All proceeds benefit the Peninsula SPCA.   RSVP HERE

Easter Egg Hunt


Community Support for Peninsula SPCA Fur Ball Increases 48% in 2014 as Adoption-Guarantee Transition Nears

The 2014 Fur Ball

Peninsula people and their pets came out in record numbers on the evening of February 1 to demonstrate their support and enthusiasm for the Peninsula SPCA’s coming transition to an adoption-guarantee shelter and humane education center.

Private citizens, business people and local and state governmental representatives attended with their special animal companions to help raise funds in support of the PSPCA’s new operating model that will focus primarily on adoptions, community humane education, and development of partnerships with other animal welfare groups.

“Through partnerships with the new Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter and other local animal welfare organizations, we will expand the resources available to all of our area’s homeless pets,” said Ellen Thacker, Executive Director of the Peninsula SPCA. “This is how we’ll achieve the Adoption Guarantee Community that our citizens are requesting and our animals deserve.”
This year’s funding success was led by Best in Show Sponsorships of $50,000 each from Ferguson and Smithfield Foods.

“Ferguson is proud to be a part of the PSPCA’s transformation and lifesaving efforts,” said Ferguson Director of Communication Denise Vaughn. “We are focused on building partnerships in the community to tackle many social issues we face. It is very rewarding to work alongside other dedicated corporations such as Smithfield Foods to truly make a difference.”

Under the new Adoption Guarantee model, the PSPCA will save all the healthy and treatable animals under their care, with euthanasia reserved only as a last resort for unhealthy and untreatable animals. Since the PSPCA board of directors’ decision to undertake this new operating model, the shelter’s live release rate has climbed dramatically, increasing from 41% at the end of 2012 to 75% so far in 2014. Additionally, the PSPCA has continued to grow its foster program, placing pets in need of some additional healing or growing time with families who take special care of them.

“Our vision is that no healthy adoptable animals will be killed simply because there is a lack of cage space or as a means of animal population control,” said Thacker. “By working together, treating each life as precious, we can truly transform our community.”

Peninsula SPCA “Special Needs” dogs get help from Petco!

GlitterExciting news – Petco, through their charitable organization, The Petco Foundation, has agreed to sponsor the adoption of one special needs dog from the Peninsula SPCA per week, through January 2014!

This means that one lucky dog per week will be available to go to their new home already spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated, and much more – and Petco pays the adoption fee!

If you’re ready to open your heart and home to a new “best friend,” come and meet the “Petco Dog of the Week” at the Peninsula SPCA!

Glitter, the adorable Shih Tzu pictured with her new owner, is the first pet to be sponsored by Petco. Glitter is 11 years young and housebroken, and with Petco’s help, she was able to find her forever home on October 14th!