This article was featured in WYDaily on 2/17/23.
The Heritage Humane Society released its 2022 Impact Report detailing how it served the community over the past year. As Greater Williamsburg’s largest shelter, its scope extends far beyond heartwarming adoptions and provides insight on how the organization provides a span of services to both pets and human companions, alike, for the community.

Behind the numbers

One of the most popular numbers of the 2022 Impact Report is the number of adopted pets. For 2022, there were 1,404 dogs, cats, and other small pets who found their fur-ever homes – a 25.5% increase over 2021. This feat includes a 30% increase on animal intakes at the open admission shelter, which spawned innovative ideas for housing and accommodating the influx of homeless pets in need.
One of the biggest community openings last year was Williamsburg’s first cat visitation and adoption spot. Nautical Dog, located in Williamsburg’s New Town development, expanded its 5102 Main Street storefront and introduced Schwartzy’s Cat Cove. The open-space experience lets visitors mingle with the featured cats as they relax or play among the decorative perches. The Cat Cove opened in mid-July 2022 and by the end of the year, 135 cats were adopted from there. The Cat Cove adoptions are through The Heritage Humane Society.

The shelter is dedicated to transitioning stray or surrendered companion animals to their permanent homes. In addition to the 1,404 adoptions, 196 pets were returned to their owners and 64 pets were transferred to rescue partners. The shelter had a 94.6% live animal release rate.
The Heritage Humane Society’s core team of animal welfare professionals was buoyed by 530 active volunteers. From helping clean at the shelter, grounds keeping, the talents of the HHS Auxiliary, and helping drive events that generated critical funding and awareness for the shelter, volunteers logged 17,233 hours in 2022. Separate from those hours are the team of dedicated fosters who fostered 705 pregnant animals, neonatal puppies and dogs, hospice pets, and those recovering from illness or medical procedures.

In addition to adoptions, the shelter marked its ninth year of its Kibble Kitchen & Beyond outreach program that helps hundreds of pets and families by providing pet food and supplies to those in need. This program is in conjunction with Williamsburg House of Mercy and Grove Christian Outreach Center.
Additionally, HHS provides community education and advocacy regarding animal care and welfare. There were 241 dogs plus their human companions who attended the shelter’s multilevel dog training classes. Young pet lovers enjoyed learning more about animals and caring for them through the shelter’s camp programs.
As a nonprofit serving the community 365 days a year, every dollar raised makes an impact. The shelter heavily depends on raising 80% of its financial needs. From single donations, monthly and annual commitments, and legacy gifts to in-kind services and the 95 special events held in 2022, every initiative was critical to the shelter especially in a year with much higher than normal demands.
In a letter presenting the community with the 2022 Impact Report, Executive Director of The Heritage Humane Society Kimberly Laska shared via letter, “We often talk about the individual pets throughout the year; today we shift our focus on the big picture that you helped make possible. The Heritage Humane Society was here to serve our local community 365 days. When they needed us, we were there. Your compassionate support has made a real difference and we are beyond grateful.”
The 2022 Impact Report and various reports from previous years are located in the shelter reports repository of

Make a life-changing impact for these adoptable pets

The Heritage Humane Society has many adoptable catsdogs, and small pets hoping to find their forever families. Here are a couple who are eager to no longer be homeless.
• Simba. At just two years old, this vibrant feline is full of big kitty energy. Simba is a big boy who would make the purr-fect office kitty and constant companion. He really doesn’t ask for much, just a soft bed, a sunny window, and a full belly. Simba is affectionate when the mood strikes and can just as easily be content with relaxing and doing his own thing.

• Angus. Say hello to The Heritage Humane Society’s brown-eyed short stack – Angus. This six-year-old boy will snort and sniff his way into your heart. He was surrendered into the shelter’s care through no fault of his own. He has lived with cats before and done great with them and is amazing on the leash.

Simba, Angus, and the other adoptable pets are available during The Heritage Humane Society’s visiting and adopting hours from 12 to 4:30 p.m., Tues. through Sun.
To learn more, visit, call 757-221-0150, or visit The Heritage Humane Society located at 430 Waller Mill Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

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