Putting Our Best Paws Forward: Animal Aid Society
Here at Doggie Dailies, we believe there is no better feeling than helping those in need. That's why every quarter we pick a new charity to donate a portion of our proceeds to!
We’re now in the third quarter of 2020 (July - October) and this quarter we're excited to be donating to Animal Aid Society of Hampton, Virginia.
About Animal Aid Society
Animal Aid Society (AAS) is a non-profit, no-kill dog shelter located in Hampton, Virginia. Since its founding in 1971, AAS has helped countless stray, abandoned, and abused dogs find their happily ever after in coastal Virginia.
Open to the public 365 days a year, AAS utilizes campus-style kennels that give each of each dog their own temperature controlled housing with access to an outdoor area 24 hours a day. In it’s nearly 50 years of operation, AAS has transformed from a home-based, one-woman effort to a 41 kennel facility located on 7 acres of land with over 100 volunteers.
After all these years, it remains committed to providing dogs with medical care and safe shelter until they can be placed with a foster family or with their forever family!
Noticing A Need
Nearly 50 years ago, Sue Henninger, an animal advocate and military wife, noticed a sad trend in her coastal Virginia military community. When military families were given new orders and had to relocate, they often couldn’t bring their furry family members with them. The only option at the time was to surrender their pets to a kill shelter.
Sue knew she couldn’t stand idly by and watch this happen. To avoid these animals being surrendered to a kill shelter, Sue offered to take in and care for these animals until they could be rehomed with loving families. That’s when the Animal Aid Society was founded.
In its nearly 50 years of operation, with the generous support of their community and the tireless efforts of volunteers, AAS has transformed from a home-based, one-woman effort to a 41 kennel facility located on 7 acres of land with over 100 volunteers.
Driven By A Passion For Dogs
Animal Aid Society is an all-volunteer organization! On average, the AAS volunteer force contributes 900 hours of every month, which translates to just under $275,000 annually in donated labor. Everyone from the daily dog walkers, the marketing team to the board members donates their time to create a safe haven for homeless dogs. That means that AAS is able to invest 100% of all donations and fundraising monies to provide for the dogs in their care.
To encourage this passion in future generations, AAS partners with community groups (scouts and athletic teams) to create volunteer and educational opportunities for local teens and young adults. Families with children are encouraged to come and walk dogs in their park-like facility as a bonding experience and volunteering opportunity all rolled into one.
The rescue strongly believes that the connection and interaction of volunteers with the animals results in a higher level of healing for both the volunteers and the animals. From walking and socialization to fundraisers and adoption events, volunteers are integral to the day-to-day operation of the rescue.
Going the Extra Mile
Animal Aid Society has a comprehensive adoption process to ensure that each of their dogs is placed with a family that they will be able to thrive with. With each adoption, AAS provides as much information as possible about a dog’s medical history, personality, and temperament to the potential adopters. This allows the potential adopters to make an informed decision about whether the dog will be a good match for their family and lifestyle.
The relationship doesn’t end once the adoption is complete. Their positive reinforcement trainers are available to adopters for a no-cost consultation to help with the transition of bringing a new dog home.
If circumstances change or a placement doesn’t work out – AAS always takes the dog back. AAS has even gone so far as to fly a dog from across the continent when the family that adopted had to move overseas and couldn’t take the dog they adopted with them. When AAS accepts a dog into their organization, they consider themselves to be responsible for that dog for the rest of his/her life. Once an AAS dog, always an AAS dog!
Effort to Rebuild
In 2016, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services changed the shelter rules, requiring public and private shelters to follow the same set of regulations. This rule change states that unattended outdoor enclosures should have impervious floors. This rule change meant that the outdoor run portion of each doggie apartment was in violation of the new rule.
The volunteers of AAS have embarked on the monumental task of redesigning their facility and raising the estimated $2 million dollars needed to complete it. The new facility will be bigger and better! The new plan calls for four new sets of kennels, with larger play yards and more climate-controlled spaces. There will be a retention pond to reduce flooding issues and more paths for walks. Additionally, the new layout will be more visitor-friendly and allow potential adopters to view each dog.
This new facility will allow AAS to continue providing a safe haven for homeless dogs in their care for the next 50 years! If you want to help support their fundraising efforts for their new facility, click here to donate.
Brewing for Breeds
In January of 2020, AAS partnered with Tradition Brewing of Newport News for their BrewDog celebration. That’s when they came up with the idea to create the perfect summer beer to help spread awareness about dogs in need and to help raise money to rebuild the shelter.
Over the July 4th weekend, Tradition Brewing released “Chasin’ Tail Pale Ale”. This specialty brew features a picture and bio of an adoptable AAS dog. A portion of the proceeds from Chasin’ Tail Pale Ale is donated to AAS, helping them get closer to their fundraising goal to rebuild the shelter.
Our friends at Animal Aid Society work hard each and every day to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome as many dogs as possible, but they can’t do it alone!
There are a few ways you can help...
Of course, you can make a donation to the Animal Aid Society. Any amount you can afford to give will help pups in need! You can also lend a helping paw by donating items from Animal Aid Society’s Amazon Wishlist. There are tons of needed items at all price ranges that will help out in a big way.
Animal Aid Society has many adorable, deserving dogs available for adoption. If you live in or near coastal Virginia and are interested in adding a furry family member to your home, take a look at all the loveable dogs available for adoption. All adoptable dogs are up to date on shots, spayed/neutered, and micro-chipped.
Not able to adopt? Help Animal Aid Society spread its message and mission with your friends. Share Animal Aid Society’s information on Facebook and Instagram to let your friends know about this amazing organization.
There are so many ways to support the Animal Aid Society. Visit their website for a full list of ways that you can help.
- Holly W