In the News
Listen to a Virginia Public Radio interview with VFHS Co-president Sue Bell: Animal shelters in crisis as cases of canine influenza spike!
In this radio spot, it is highlighted that while flu season for people typically starts in the fall, for dogs and cats living in shelters, sickness peaks during the summer. The president of the board of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, Sue Bell, explains that during the summer months, shelters tend to get crowded because people on vacation are less likely to adopt pets. This leads to dogs and cats staying in shelters for extended periods, increasing their stress levels and susceptibility to illness. Additionally, due to limited veterinary services during the pandemic, fewer pets were spayed or neutered, resulting in more puppies and kittens coming in for adoption. Ironically, the surplus of pets is partly attributed to a spike in adoptions during COVID-19 when people were staying home. However, the shortage of vaccines and limited budgets make it challenging for shelters to vaccinate animals against the flu. Many shelters, represented by the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, are facing a crisis as a result.