This article was featured in WYDaily on 9/30/22.
While most of us think of dogs and cats when it comes to the Heritage Humane Society, there is a whole other world there searching for love, too – small pets! Guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, even a rat, are currently homeless at the shelter and dreaming of their forever homes. Now through Oct. 9, 2022, The Heritage Humane Society is even letting adopters for small pets name their own adoption fee.

The old adage, “good things come in small packages,” is how Greater Williamsburg’s largest animal shelter feels about this little menagerie. And, a growing community of local adopters agree. The Heritage Humane Society averages more than 100 adoptions of small pets annually. To date for 2022, 84 have found new homes.
Affectionately known as Pocket Pets, while they are small, the shelter’s Adoption Team likes to educate potential adopters so they know that these special little critters receive the care they need to thrive and be happy in life.

Name Your Own Adoption Fee

Now through Oct. 9, 2022, if you adopt a small pet from The Heritage Humane Society you can participate in the Name Your Own Adoption Fee promotion. The small pet fee is normally $35.
These little bundles are social, intelligent, and docile animals. They often have a calming effect. They do not take up much space and are generally low maintenance although the shelter cautions that low maintenance still means they must be cared for. Adopters report how much they enjoy the sweet, quiet company of these little wonders.
The Heritage Humane Society shares what it is like to care for a small pet with those considering adopting. While they need chewing resources just like puppies, they take up less space. Small pets are budget friendly, generally healthier requiring less vet visits, and are generally clean. Often times, their space only needs to be refreshed weekly.

Pick from a large selection

Instead of going to a pet store or breeder, homeless small pets are always available at local shelters. Currently The Heritage Humane Society has in its care and up for adoption on its website, which is updated hourly:
  • Guinea pigs. Social and cuddly, guinea pigs are a popular addition to the family. Adopters can select from this colorful group of personalities to include some long-haired cuties, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Curious, Gumball, Darwin, Miles, Steven, and Shadow.
  • Hamsters. These palm-sized furry friends are big on personality. With soft coats, warm eyes, and wiggly noses, the shelters current hamsters include Green Bean, Cookie, Raisen, and Reeses.
  • Rabbits. These bundles have the softest fur in the shelter. Their quiet, curious eyes and twitchy little noses are always taking in the scene as they navigate their space. One-year-olds Princess and Oreo are currently up for adoption.
  • Rats. Household pet rats, known as Fancy Rats, are more sophisticated and domesticated than traditional rats. Ghost is the current rat resident at the shelter who is awaiting his permanent home. His happy demeanor reminds the team of the animated flick, “Ratatouille.”
Meet Pittsburgh!


Meet Princess!


Meet Raisen!


Meet Ghost!


Unable to adopt, but wish to help

There are many ways to help small pets right here in the community. Consider sponsoring the adoption fees. If interested, email or call the Heritage Humane Society Adoption Team at [email protected] or 757-221-0150 ext.0. Share their stories with family and friends. Make an online donation, donate needed items such as timothy hay, small critter bedding, guinea pig and rabbit food/treats, small critter toys, purchase items from the shelter’s onsite ReTail Store such as small critter toys, treats, and food, or join The Heritage Humane Society foster community.
To learn more, visit or call 757-221-0150. Heritage Humane Society is located at 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

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