Cheddar’s Second Chance: A Have a Heart Fund Success Story

Grilled Cheese Mania challenged their patrons to match their $500, and donate to Have a Heart Fund with RHSPCA. They did it! You can too…

Stumpy’s Second Chance: A Have a Heart Fund Success Story

Sadly, an infection left Stumpy an amputee. Fortunately, our community who joins together to donate to animals, Stumpy’s surgery was possible

Lexi’s Second Chance: A Have A Heart Fund Success Story

Lexi the black lab was struck by a car. An animal help fund set up by the Rockingham Harrisonburg SPCA collects donations to help Lexi.

January Shelter Scoop

Dear Friends,

We had a terrific month of adoptions with 164 cats and dogs finding new homes. This was great for our feline population which was reduced from 200 cats and kittens to 138 in shelter. However, we are continuing to see high dog intakes, a trend that unfortunately has carried over from last year. Pet ownership is becoming increasingly more expensive and for some the cost of care for their pet is getting out of reach. 

We first started seeing an increase in dog intakes towards the end of 2021. It was apparent by the Spring of 2022 that this increase was not an anomaly, as national groups like Shelter Animals Count were also reporting increases in shelter intakes. This increase has been attributed to rising cost of pet ownership (cost of supplies and veterinary services), access to affordable pet friendly housing, and people returning to work as workplaces opened back up.

The reasons ascribed to the increase were consistent with what owners surrendering their pets to the RHSPCA shared with us. We also saw an increase in stray intakes and a reduction in dog reunifications despite the even heavier emphasis we placed on efforts to reunite pets with their owners. Not surprisingly, we did not see an increase in returned adoptions. This is because of the care taken when matchmaking pets with potential adopters by our staff and volunteers.

One major initiative for us this year is to reduce intake of animals to the shelter. Felines account for two thirds of all intakes to the shelter. Our Community Cat Voucher program was incredibly impactful last year and was directly responsible for the deferral of 80 feline intakes and the spay or neuter of 500 felines in total. In 2023 we plan to partner further with local groups to further reduce the number of free roaming community cats.

Intakes to the shelter can be reduced by providing resources to pet owners needing help. We will continue to provide medical and behavioral assistance to help pet owners keep their pets in the home and assist with finding new homes for those unable to keep them any longer. Dog intakes have continually risen over the last two years and we must proactively start addressing the concerns leading to this.

We expect to have these programs underway by July 1st of this year. I would love to hear from you if you are interested in supporting these two projects or if you would like to learn more about them. This is a big undertaking, one that I am confident will yield great results with the continued support of our donors, volunteers and staff.


Huck Nawaz

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Open Your Heart & Home To Animals in Need

December Shelter Scoop

Dear Friends,

As we bring in the new year, our 50th, I would first like to thank each of you that made our end of year fundraising campaign successful. Thanks to the generous support of donors we surpassed our goal of raising $75,000 and will enter 2023 with the financial support needed to build upon our success.  

There was a lot to celebrate in 2022 but our greatest impact was made by saving the lives of over 3,200 animals. We ended the year with a live release rate of 94% last year. This was no easy task since we had 3,200 animals come into our care, an unprecedented increase of 600 animals over the year before. We are fortunate to have a supportive community full of volunteers, fosters, adopters and donors like you that share our vision for creating a community that values animal welfare.  

Last year was our most impactful year to date. We found adoptive homes for 1,829 animals.  Over 1,000 animals benefited from temporary placement in foster homes. Our dedicated volunteers donated 11,000 hours of their time and we helped reduce the feline overpopulation by getting 500 outdoor cats spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.  

This will be my fifth year with the RHSPCA and I am still in awe of the generosity and support of our donors and the dedication of our staff and volunteers. I am excited for us to further expand our programs and services this year as we continue to fulfill our mission of decreasing pet homelessness through advocacy and adoption. Together, we will make sure that our 50th year is our most successful year as we continue to proactively address the causes of pet homelessness in our community.

With gratitude,

Huck Nawaz

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Don’t Buy into Animal Cruelty – Adopt Don’t Shop.

Pam Miller knew better than to purchase a puppy from a pet store. She knew that pet stores very often get the puppies from puppy mills and there was no way she was going to support such a thing. This is why when she was ready to add another dog to her family, she chose to adopt Arlo, a then six month old puppy who was rescued from a puppy mill in West Virginia. What Pam didn’t realize was the extent of the psychological trauma that dogs from puppy mills carry.

November Shelter Scoop

Dear Friends,

November was Adopt a Senior pet month and nine deserving senior pets found loving homes.  All too often senior pets are overlooked by adopters.  So each of these pets’ adoption fees were reduced to only $25, and it worked!  It’s especially rewarding to see the older animals find loving homes to be with a family this holiday season.  In addition to the senior pets, 196 other animals were also placed in adoptive homes..

Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving, kicked off our annual fundraising campaign this year on November 29th.  This year’s effort was focused on raising awareness and funds for senior pets and we exceeded our goal of $10,000 for Giving Tuesday.  These funds will go towards providing for the special medical and behavioral needs of the senior pets that come into our care.  The funds also offset the reduced adoption fees that incentivize the adoption of pets in need.

Twenty five dollars does not come close to covering our costs to get an animal ready for adoption.  Each animal is vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped, blood tested, and spayed or neutered (if intact) before being placed for adoption.  They are provided with nutritious food, treats, toys as well medical treatment for what ails them.  As pet owners can relate, the cost of veterinary care has skyrocketed over the last two years.  Our experience has been the same as we continue to provide the same excellent care for all our ‘temporary pets’ here at the RHSPCA.

Our fundraising efforts will continue through the end of the year as we try to reach our goal of $75,000. You’ll be hearing from us a little more often during the Holiday season as we share with you our accomplishments over this past year and goals for next year.  It is through your support that we continue to expand our impact and further our mission. To create a community free of pet homeless and animal suffering through adoption and advocacy.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the RHSPCA family and the pets in our care. 

With gratitude,

Huck Nawaz

Executive Director