‘Furry Fridays’ in Suffolk

Published 6:58 pm Saturday, July 21, 2018

Stephanie Taylor and Billy Lockard of the 97.3 The Eagle radio station visited the Suffolk Humane Society at 412 Kings Fork Road on Friday to bring attention to adoptable dogs, cats and other loveable animals for Furry Fridays.

Taylor has been doing online video recordings for years at animal shelters throughout Hampton Roads, and on Friday she recorded several of the kittens and friendly dogs that were available for adoption, along with three guinea pigs.

According to Sara Johnston of the Suffolk Humane Society Board of Directors, there are more than 60 kittens at the facility that need a home.

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“If you’re looking to adopt, now is the time,” Taylor said. “It’s kitten season, and there are so many kittens that need good, loving homes.”

There are also about 10 dogs being looked after by the society and foster volunteers. Four of them were at the Kings Fork Road facility — 1,746 square feet in the main building, not including the cat house and storage building — and they varied from an easygoing 3-year-old named Thalia to Fitzpatrick, a 2-year-old, white-and-black rat terrier with an adorable leap that was marked “personality plus.”

“Fitzpatrick and I have something in common, we’re both afraid of water,” Taylor said as she recorded each of the dogs. “Not a fan of water but would love a good family.”

Both Lockard and Taylor are animal lovers of all kinds, with Lockard being the proud owner a red tail boa, a dog and a cat named Gizmo from the movie “Gremlins.” Taylor has two cats she rescued from the Virginia Beach SPCA: the more recent 1-year-old named Hobbs and 14-year-old Louie, who according to her still looks and acts like one of these perfectly adoptable kittens.

“I always like to say that you rescue an animal and it rescues you,” she said. “You have a bond and that bond is for a lifetime.”

The Suffolk Humane Society promotes good human-pet relationships through education programs in school and throughout the city. Their BARKS reading program allows children to read to dogs in relaxed environments like the library, and about a dozen therapy dogs are brought to hospitals to provide patients emotional relief.

They have an extensive foster program and work with volunteers from the Lake Prince Woods retirement community at their Kings Fork Road location.

“It gives them an opportunity to get out and play with the kitties,” Johnston said.

They also have a community assistance fund on a first-come, first-served basis that supports pet owners that can’t afford necessary medical treatments for their furry friends.

“You never want to be in the position where you can’t do everything that you want for the pet that you love,” Taylor said. “For some people, it’s just not possible, and I can’t imagine having to make that choice.”

The Suffolk Humane Society will hold its first 4Paws 5K and 1 Mile Walk fundraiser on Aug. 25 at the Lake Prince Woods retirement community located at 100 Anna Goode Way. Search “1st Annual 4PAWS & 5K Fun Run” on Facebook for more information.