Let's Give All Pets Responsible, Loving Homes

A private animal shelter is vital to the Northern Neck.


It’s not easy to think about the number of pets dying every year in animal shelters.  It’s even worse to realize that most of these dogs and cats die simply because shelters don’t have the resources to accommodate them. They are not sick. They do not have behavioral issues. 

While there is excellent volunteer rescue work occurring to save pets, there are also major deficiencies in our local shelter system.  

The time is NOW to provide a private facility to house and care for needy pets who cannot help themselves.  

In taking this bold and much-needed step, NNPP will expand the work of local animal-loving heroes such as AWL, nonprofit rescue groups, and concerned individuals by providing a compassionate alternative for healthy, adoptable pets. 

Only by building a private shelter can we combat the Northern Neck’s persistent and tragic problems of sick and maltreated pets, strays, overpopulation, and dumped and unwanted companion animals. 

All homeless and unwanted animals want is to be loved again. This is the sad truth; they are waiting for someone to bring them home.

If you share our motivation and concern, please help us make this dream a reality. 


Pets are beloved members of 107 million U.S. households, according to a 

2017-2018  survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association. That’s 185 million cats and dogs.  

An American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals nationwide study shows that 6.5 million animals enter shelters each year. Of these, 3.2 million found new homes and 1.5 million were euthanized. That’s a national kill rate of 23% and adoption rate of 49%. 

The South has long been a region where surplus pets are transferred out-of-state or to no-kill shelters. This, however, is costly, and underscores the need for public humane awareness and education. 


Commonwealth 2017 figures show that 72,000 dogs and cats entered public shelters and 28,300 were euthanized or 39%. 

In contrast, Virginia’s 294 private shelters and rescue nonprofits took in over 87,000 pets. 4% were euthanized.  

AWL worked with about ten cooperating agencies and transferred 36% of its cats and dogs last year. 30% were adopted and 1.4% were euthanized. 

Why the difference? No-kill shelters and rescue groups only euthanize animals who are incurable, suffering, or have dangerous behavioral issues. They do not kill pets as a means of population control or because their time is up.  

These facts tell us that that the most effective solution to ending animal suffering and homelessness in the Northern Neck is a private, nonprofit shelter. 

The statistics for the three Northern Neck public shelters vary widely.

  • Northumberland takes top honors with a kill rate well under 8% and the highest adoption rate of approximately 57%.  Job well-done! 
  • Westmoreland intakes dogs and cats and accepts dogs only from Richmond (which does not operate a shelter.)  2018 statistics based on an intake of 457 pets show 18% kill, 24% adoption, and 32% transfer rates. If cats were factored in, which tend to be at least 30% or more of the dogs, these numbers would be far different. 
  • Lancaster needs the most help. With a 2018 intake of 298 pets, 41% were killed and 6% adopted. Without the safety net AWL provided last year, taking in 33% or 98 pets from the  Lancaster shelter, the numbers would be dismal indeed. 

This is why the primary focus of NNPP is to build a no-kill animal shelter in Lancaster County and complement the work of the AWL. As we build capacity, our goal is help the other counties combat animal suffering. 

If these facts resonate with you, please join us to bring about positive change for helpless animals facing euthanasia in the Northern Neck. 


The site owned by NNPP is a 35.8-acre parcel located on Devil’s Bottom Road in Lancaster County. Set on a plateau, it is wooded, secluded by farm fields and has generous set-backs.  The site is well-suited for its intended purpose and has room for future expansion. 

The project design is grounded in science, academic research, and statistics. It will implement solutions to reduce pet homelessness and overpopulation. It will improve care for shelter pets by providing a safe haven after their holding period expires. 

We will work cooperatively with all rescues, shelters, and cooperating agencies. Integral to our project is the need to increase community health and wellness based on the proven benefits of pet ownership. The most effective solution to ending animal overpopulation, and increasing community quality of life, is a private no-kill shelter that provides a holistic approach to the human/animal bond.

Beyond the base building cost and architectural fees, we will need engineered septic systems and a well. Soil tests, surveys, and foundation systems have to be completed. And shelter-specific acoustic, air handling and ventilation systems, plumbing, electrical, and durable sanitary finishes are a must. Veterinarian equipment, computers, office furnishings, cages, pens, and crates plus construction contingency rounds out the picture. 

Based on preliminary benchmarking, a one-story masonry building of approximately 8,000 square feet will serve initial needs. Fully outfitted to meet professional shelter standards for health and safety, project costs are estimated to top out in the $2,000,000 range. Every effort will be made to maximize space for quality and efficiency to house, treat, and meet adoptable animals with only modest volunteer/staff areas.