Animal Resources of Tidewater was originally known as Animal Rescue of Tidewater. Initially, our singular focus was on rescuing and re-homing individual animals. While it made a huge difference to the individual animal, we realized it was not the most effective way to create broader change in our community. ART still does some specific animal rescue; but, now focuses the majority of our resources on lifesaving programs. Today our programs focus on spay/neuter, medical assistance to keep animals in homes and legislative advocacy to ensure better laws for animals and the people who love and serve them. In fact, we typically spend over $60,000 annually assisting families whose pets need veterinarian care but cannot afford it, and providing free and low-cost spay/neuter. ART volunteers respond to requests for help 7 days a week. ART members work tirelessly to help keep pets safely in their home.
ART began a pilot project of spaying and neutering animals at no cost to citizens in the Ocean View neighborhood of Norfolk in the spring of 2009. Over the next 12 months, we gathered data to identify neighborhoods where low-income and high-calls to Animal Control for strays intersected. As a result of that research, SpayHR was launched in 2010. Free spay/neuter has been offered to several targeted neighborhoods and low-cost services are both marketed and offered to other areas. Since we began, over 5,000 animals have been altered with grants from various organizations, in addition to generous donations from private donors. The program is ongoing and the impact we are having on controlling unwanted litters is significant. We are proud to report that the City of Norfolk issued a Resolution honoring ART for these efforts.
Community Medical Assistance
ART provides funding for pets when families cannot afford medical care. Services range from a simple bag of food to tide an owner over to the next paycheck to a significant surgery meaning life or death for the pet. Thankfully our donors make this possible and because of our partnerships with some generous area vets, we are able to stretch dollars donated for animal care. The goal of this program is to keep pets in their homes and out of shelters and we are thankful for the community’s support which makes it possible.
Members actively advocate for better laws and policies for animals and their caregivers in their respective communities and at the state level. ART believes that the foundation of a society which values animals is a system of laws that protects them and is life affirming.
Members and volunteers staff ART’s Help Hotline respond to citizen requests for help. Often we are able to match up a citizen in need with a provider who can help, such as a trainer, behaviorist or nearby reduced cost veterinary clinic. Many animals have been helped and remain in their homes because of this unique support.
Pit Bull Awareness Coalition
The Pit Bull Awareness Coalition addresses the myths & misconceptions surrounding bully breeds, promotes the end of breed discrimination and raises awareness about the true loving nature of all breeds.
Since 1999, ART has rescued and found homes for approximately 2300 animals. ART’s current programs and focus have changed and evolved over the years to meet the community needs.