Ten-year-old Connor Shepherd, a Hampton fifth-grader, spent time acquiring toys — but not for himself. He recently obtained a large amount of donations for the dogs, cats, hamsters and more at the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter.
Connor and his family have donated used blankets to the shelter before, but he wanted the animals to have toys, too. He wrote pet stores seeking donations, explaining “If animals get toys, they would be so happy.” He went on to say that “if they have toys it would help time to fly by for them. … Instead of waiting to be walked, fed, or visited, they could be having a blast playing with their new toys!”
The Newport News Pet Smart responded with so many donations that Connor and his family had to take two trips to transport the supplies. Before bringing the donations to PRAS, Connor additionally organized and sorted the supplies based on species, then by items, including beds, clothing, toys and accessories.
The regional shelter is a collaborative venture supported by Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, and York County. This 30,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility is managed and operated by the city of Newport News on behalf of the four jurisdictions. An “open admission” shelter, it contains a full-service veterinary clinic for the shelter animals and has capacity for approximately 100 dogs and 180 cats, as well as pocket pets and other small companion animals. The shelter’s primary responsibilities include holding stray animals until they can be reunited with their owners, rehoming owner-surrendered pets, and facilitating pet adoptions.