This article was featured in WYDaily on 12/9/22.
While there may not be “seven swans a swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings…four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree” at Greater Williamsburg’s largest animal shelter, The Heritage Humane Society presents 12 Overlooked Homeless Pets of Christmas. Even if adopting isn’t a possibility right now, but you’d like to help the overcrowded shelter particularly with the high volume of dogs currently there. The Heritage Humane Society is asking community members to consider the joys of being a dog foster even for as little as one week, which gives a homeless dog a much needed break from shelter life.

Meet the 12 Overlooked Homeless Pets of Christmas

Meet the 12 pets whose greatest holiday wish is to have a forever home. They are each big on personality, lovable, and more than anything, want to connect with their forever family.
Athena. This spirited one-year old girl who is looking for a home for the holidays and beyond. She came to The Heritage Humane Society as an owner surrender through no fault of her own. She is only about 10 months old, so she is still very excitable and needs someone to teach her some manners. She is housetrained and does well on the leash. She came in with her brother from another mother Titus, and does well with him. She has been on a few Fido Field Trips during her time at the shelter and really enjoyed drives in the car and strolls in Colonial Williamsburg.
Alice. Fall down the rabbit hole and come meet wonderful Alice. This five-year-old brindle beauty is all about the love. A good snuggle is all this gal wants. She is a quiet young lady and the most gentle treat taker you’ll ever meet. She loves toys and really enjoys a good game of tug. This pint size pit mix is such a good girl and she’s just patiently waiting for her forever family.
Dean. Dean was transferred to the shelter from Gloucester Matthews Humane Society. This five-year-old cool guy been searching for his forever home since March 2021 when his owner had to move overseas. He is a sweet and loveable dog who loves to play in the water. Dean enjoys going on walks and running around with tennis balls and stuffy toys. He is a happy boy! Peanut butter and Cheez-Whiz are his love language. Dean is always in the mood for treats and would love to binge-watch all the latest shows with you. If you think Dean is the right fit for you, come meet this sweet guy!
Roman. This distinguished gentleman already knows the ropes of being the perfect pooch. Roman is pretty laid back but still enjoys his leisurely walks and sometimes playing with another friendly dog. This handsome hunk has a chill vibe and is just waiting for someone to scoop him up.
Rubble. Giant eyes, pouty lips, attentive ears, and an eagerness to find a home to call his own. Rubble is ready and waiting to be your new best friend. Rubble had to be surrendered due to his home having a cat…and he and the cat did not get along. He is so sweet and loving. Rubble is house trained, trained not to get on furniture, does well in a crate, will lay on his bed and follows a handful of commands. He did well with another dog and young kids in the home and was sweet and gentle with them. If you’re a Paw Patrol fan, adopt Rubble on the double!
Dora. Say hello to Dora the Explorer. She was found as a stray living in the woods and evaded capture for close to a month. The shelter team doesn’t know how long she spent living without human companionship, and when she arrived, it was clear that Dora hadn’t been around people for a long time. She’s made incredible progress with the staff at the shelter and has a few people who she really has learned to trust. Her biggest requirement is that her new family must have another confident dog to help teach her the ropes. Dora is at her best when she can follow the lead of another dog. Dora is ready to pack her backpack and head off on a new fun adventure with her perfect family.
Sabee. This beautiful, three-year-old Siamese mix will make a wonderful roommate for someone. She cannot wait for you to be her full-time servant, but do not misunderstand your role in this relationship. Sabee is the Head Cat in Charge, you just work here. She decides when she will accept affection (and when she will not), but tends to be pretty open and vocal about her feelings – you just have to respect her decision. The folks at The Heritage Humane Society don’t foresee Sabee being a snuggly lap cat, but she’s a very clean and conscientious roommate who never pays her rent.
Vel. This four-year-old tabby came in as a surrender in October. The previous owner loved her very much and had to make the decision to give Vel her best at a second chance. Vel has lived with dogs and cats and did well. She will be attached to your hip when she finally settles in. She is vocal and very playful but loves cuddling if you’re working from home or relaxing in bed.
Winifred. Four-year-old Winifred is a beautiful onyx cat who came in as a stray in September. She was brought in with her litter of kittens and was an incredibly good mother to these little ones. Now all of her kittens have been adopted, however, Winifred is still waiting for someone to take her home. She is a gentle lady who will warm your heart with adoring head bumps and a meow. Come meet this sweet and nurturing love-bug, who will keep you warm on these chilly nights.
Loki. This ten-year-old black cat is a bit shy at first, preferring to observe and build trust in her surroundings. With a bit of patience, Loki will be curled-up and purring in your lap in no time at all. She would do best in a quiet and calm home preferably with adults or older children.
Ruby. Five-year-old Ruby is such a stunner. This luscious, long-haired tabby was surrendered. While she can be shy, with a bit of patience she will be curled-up and purring in your lap in no time at all.
Outclaw. What do you call an outlaw cat? Outclaw! This four-year-old fella came to The Heritage Humane Society in November. Big on personality, this guy is always up for some fun. We think that Outclaw would do best in an active home where there is a lot to do and many spaces to explore but do not fear, his love of affection won’t keep him far from you.
There are many dogscats, and small pets at The Heritage Humane Society whose holiday wish is to be adopted.
Located at 430 Waller Mill Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185, The Heritage Humane Society’s adoption viewing hours are from 12 to 4:30 p.m. daily except on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when it closes at 3 p.m. The shelter is completely close on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Holiday scratchers where everyone is a winner

During the holiday season while supplies last, new adopters will also receive a special Heritage Humane Society holiday scratcher. When they scratch it off, a shopping discount will be revealed for any purchase they make the day of adoption at the ReTAIL Store.


Fosters needed

Unable to adopt at this time? There are other ways you can help. Foster volunteers are desperately needed to help the homeless pets at The Heritage Humane Society. With more than 220 homeless pets currently within the shelter’s care there is an immediate need for fosters for an overwhelming number of dogs. There are many pups who need a special someone to help them, snuggle them, love on them, and feed them, as they wait for their next chapters to begin.
Other ways of support include shopping for your favorite furry friends and pet lovers at the shelter’s the ReTAIL Store, purchasing a bow for the community Holiday Fur Treedonating online, or gifting the shelter with supplies from its wish list.
To learn more, visit or call 757-221-0150.

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