Compassion for the Four-Legged: A Survey of Virginia No-Kill Shelters from Semein Washington

Our human community is in need of compassion or assistance but, as those who have pets and care for other animals know, we are not the only ones who require attention. Animals who have been placed under human care, largely dogs and cats, often need new homes and the chance to live fulfilled lives. Many shelters do not have the resources or time to care for animals who haven’t found homes and subsequently have to put them to sleep.

One way to counter this cruelty is to do whatever we can to support no-kill shelters.. These institutions are committed to animals living long fulfilled lives and finding a loving home.

The following entries are highly rated by No-Kill

AARF of Richmond, Virginia - “AARF is an acronym thatstands for Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation. We are a Richmond, Virginia based, non-profit, all volunteer, non-euthanizing organization founded in June of 1993. Our goal is to rescue orphaned animals and place them in loving homes.”

To volunteer, donate or adopt with Richmond’s AARF:


Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County - “The Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County (HS/SPCA) strives to improve animal welfare by providing care and adoption of ‘unwanted’ companion animals through: our ‘no-kill’ adoption center, foster care networks, satellite adoption venues, and Kitten & Puppy Rescue/Transport Programs; by funding veterinary services and education programs; and, by controlling over-population through low-cost Spay-Neuter-Vaccinate and Feral Cat Trap/Neuter/Release programs.”

Learn more, volunteer, donate or adopt here:


The Animal Aid Society - Hampton, Va. - “The Animal Aid Society is a "No-Kill" dog shelter. The mission of the Society is to provide to and/or for animals, other than Man, shelter, medical aid, care and protection, to act as a placement agency for dogs in good health, and to provide education for the humane care and treatment of dogs, and to attempt to prevent cruelty to dogs. It is a nonprofit organization which receives no funding from state or federal agencies. All of the funds required to maintain the shelter and care for the dogs come from donations and special fund-raising events. Donations to the shelter are tax deductible.

Our dogs are not euthanized. Dogs are kept at the shelter until placed in a home; however, this means that new dogs can only be accepted by the shelter after previous ones have been adopted or permanently placed in foster care. All our dogs are:

  • Examined by a veterinarian.

  • Receive medical care as needed.

  • Current on vaccinations.

  • Spayed or neutered.

  • Regularly walked and exercised.

  • Socialized and Loved.

  • Temperament tested.

  • Microchipped

The Animal Aid Society can be contacted here:


Humane Society of Loudoun County (Leesburg) - “The Humane Society of Loudoun County, VA (HSLC) is a no kill, animal welfare organization founded in 1966 to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned, feral, and neglected animals from Loudoun County, VA.. Our mission is to provide a second chance for our needy four-legged friends and to work toward a time when all animals have loving homes. By visiting schools, retirement homes, and other public venues, we try to enrich people´s lives with the magic of animals´ unconditional love, and to teach humans the value of proper care and responsibility of beloved pets.

As an organization, we work to influence legislation to protect animal rights. Our efforts helped local officials identify the need for and pass both anti-rodeo and hot car ordinances. Currently we´re communicating with VA state representatives on a bill to provide officials with training on recognizing the link between animal cruelty and child abuse, then breaking that link through education.”

Humane Society of Loudoun County can be contacted here:


Additional resources and locations for no-kill shelters can be found here


IMPORTANT RESOURCE: Richmond City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter Open January 30 – February 1

The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be open Tuesday, January 30 – Thursday, February 1 as temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees.

Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Commonwealth Catholic Charities (511 W. Grace Street) during operational hours for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Shelter registration is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  

For individuals who are not eligible for existing shelter space or if all available beds have been filled, Commonwealth Catholic Charities will provide a referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter.

The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter is located in the City’s Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street. The shelter opens each evening at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 10 a.m. Individuals seeking access to the Overflow Shelter must have a referral. Food will not be provided and pets are not allowed.

City residents are also advised the Department of Social Services provides emergency assistance with gas and electric disconnection notices for residents who qualify. Residents may also call the Fuel Line at (804) 646-7046.

The elderly or residents with disabilities should contact Senior Connections for assistance at (804) 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, please contact Commonwealth Catholic Charities at (804) 648-4177.

More info here at Richmond2Day

RVA, please share! 

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Volunteers & Donations Needed! Madeline's House Domestic Violence Shelter, Central Virginia

Madeline’s House is a non-profit organization, providing comprehensive services for individuals and families experiencing domestic and sexual abuse.

We receive and are dependent upon support from local sources: civic groups, religious groups, businesses, private citizens and grants. Income is also generated through various community fundraising events.

Southside Center for Violence Prevention, Inc. was established in 1999 in response to the cries of persons who experience domestic and sexual violence, and their primary need for immediate help and safety by:

  • Providing temporary housing

  • Empowering clients and residents to become survivors

  • Assisting them in regaining control of their lives through a wide range of appropriate services, and

  • Supporting these individuals in ending their experience of violence and homelessness through client advocacy, counseling, and community support systems.

Public awareness is the key to changing long term attitudes about domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA). Finding a safe haven from this abuse is an immediate and life saving concern. Madeline’s House has been established in response to the cry of DV and SA victim’s immediate need for help and safety.

It is our intent to inspire these women and children to become survivors and assist them in regaining control of their lives. In addition to the wide range of services we provide, our goal is to help them restore their self-esteem. Counseling, therapy, and a supportive family environment within the shelter help to rebuild the independence necessary for reentering the community to live a safe and productive new life.

If You Need Help, Call : 1-888-819-2926


Learn More About Madeline's House Here


How You Can Help

Volunteer Or Donate



RESOURCE: Emergency Shelters: Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Norfolk, Hampton, Williamsburg, Newport News






Virginia Beach has now opened an overnight shelter for adults experiencing homelessness through the city’s Winter Shelter program.

For information about the Winter Shelter program, contact Pam Shine at (757) 385-5761.

Families with children experiencing homelessness or who are at-risk should call the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline at (757) 227-5932 to access the city’s homeless prevention and services system.


Salvation Army Rehabilitation  Center  
5524 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Serves single men. Recover-based program. Work in exchange for room and board. 

Judeo-Christian Outreach Center
1053 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Serves single men and women but will take small families. Call for space availability. 



CAPS Night Stay Winter Shelter - Suffolk, VA

Contact information: 326 N. Main St., Suffolk, VA 23434
 PH; 757-276-9126  Website:  Email:

Pick up is at the Suffolk Seaboard Train Museum, 326 N. Main St. Bus leaves for host church location promptly at 6:30 each evening. The site rotates among host churches on a weekly basis. We are unable to provide services to sex offenders or individuals with alcohol or drugs in their system.

Night Stay Program
The Night Stay Program is a rotating night shelter for people experiencing homelessness in the winter months. Churches take turns hosting the program for a week at a time, opening their doors to provide shelter, food, safety and a listening ear to our neighbors.




Union Mission 

Norfolk, VA 23502
Our desire is to help all who are in need. We are a
Christian ministry but accept anyone who needs our help.
We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Emergency Shelter for Men, Single Women and
Women with Children
5100 E. Virginia Beach Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23502


Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless - Portsmouth, VA

800 Williamsburg Ave, Suite B, Portsmouth, VA 23704
 PH: 757-399-0200

Primary provider of emergency shelter for single homeless individuals and to move them from dependency to self-sufficiency, through supportive services in cooperation with other organizations in the Portsmouth area.




A Night's Welcome(Winter Shelter Program)  

317 Rip Rap Road
Hampton, VA 23669

 Rotating shelter sites from November through March. Information on shelter sites and transportation available through the Hampton-Newport News Community Service Board (PATH Homeless Services). No referral needed. Shelter times are from 7 PM to 7 AM. Sleep on mat on floor, meals served, and no shower services. Clients on their own during the day. Must carry items with them. For the schedule, see the A Night's Welcome webpage.

H.E.L.P. House  
317 Rip Rap Road
Hampton, VA 23669

H.E.L.P. is a non-profit organization that ministers to the dignity and needs of the people in the Hampton Roads community by providing assistance in the areas of housing, food, assistance and health and dental care. 

P.O. Box 561
Hampton, VA 23669
Serves women and women with children that are experiencing domestic violence. Will take homeless women and children if room is available. Referrals made through the hotline. 



Avalon Center for Women and Children
P.O. Box 1079
Williamsburg, VA 23187



Menchville House  
P.O. Box 22687
Newport News, VA 23609

Peninsula Rescue Mission
3700 Huntington Ave.
Newport News, VA
Single men only. 

PORT Shelter Program, LINK, Inc. (Winter Shelter Program)  
10413 Warwick Blvd.
Newport News, VA
Rotating shelter sites from November to April. Information on shelter sites and transportation available through the Hampton-Newport news Community Service Board (PATH Homeless Services). No referral needed. Shelter times are from 7 PM until 7 AM. Sleep on mat on floor, meals served, and no shower services. Clients on their own during the day. Must carry items with them.



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RESOURCE: Lynchburg, Danville: Cold Weather Shelters

"The Coordinated Homeless Intake and Access - known as CHIA - helps locals facing homelessness get placed in a shelter with just one phone call to the program coordinator, Megan Wood.

Shelters are not just for those facing homelessness.

Folks who don't have working heat in their homes can also get assistance.

Contact the Salvation Army any time at (434) 845-5939 or call CHIA at (434) 485-7200 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m."


Pleas share. 

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List of Virginia Shelters

Many are emergency shelters along with general homeless shelters and some transitional housing opportunities. As a note, many of these shelters now have waiting lists. Please call before going to them. Many waiting lists are very long.

Please pass on.