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AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT COVID-19

Animal Aid Society is monitoring developments regarding COVID-19. Please be assured that our top priority is the health and safety of all visitors, volunteers, and our pups. We are consulting the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Virginia Department of Health and local public health authorities.

We are maintaining our normal operational hours of 9am-12 pm every day. In an effort to limit large gatherings, we are switching to an appointment scheduling system effective immediately until further notice. By limiting the flow of people that we have at the shelter at one time, we will be able to ensure that people are able to stay 6-10 feet apart and better handle the extra cleaning protocols we have put in place. We are also requiring the use of face coverings whenever someone is within 10 feet of another person. Learn how to make a face covering: CDC CLOTH FACE COVERING

​Appointments are available 7 days a week from 9 AM – 12 PM. Please call 757-206-2873 to schedule an appointment. We encourage everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.

AAS will be revising this message as necessary. To stay informed on COVID-19, visit cdc.gov for the latest updates.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

We ask those who have recently traveled to a high-risk country, had any exposure to symptomatic or confirmed positive cases, confirmed positive themselves, or are displaying symptoms but have not been tested, refrain from visiting our facility for the time being.

Donations of hand sanitizer and clean old towels/wash cloths are much appreciated!

Since Our Founding in 1971

Founded by by Sue Henninger, Animal Aid Society has grown from a backyard operation to a 7 acre, 41 kennel no-kill dog shelter in Hampton, VA with over 100 volunteers. Dogs are kept at the shelter until permanent placement through adoption or foster. We partner, support, and network with other rescue organizations in our community who are also working to assist animals in need both locally and state-wide.

 

Our mission has not waivered

The purpose of the Society shall be to provide to/and or for animals, other than man, shelter, medical aid, care and protection, to act as a placement agency for animals in good health, and to provide education for the humane care and treatment of animals, and to attempt to prevent cruelty to animals. We are a nonprofit organization that 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 for space. This means that new dogs can only be accepted by the shelter when we have an available kennel.

All of 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
  • Adopters are able to register the microchip for free and no annual renewal fees are required.
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It's all about the dogs

Animal Aid Society has made the commitment to implement Fear Free® practices across our organization in an effort to provide the best care for the dogs at our shelter while we search for their perfect match. This is being made possible with the guidance of our certified Force Free Training trainers.

Meet Our Trainers

Cathleen "Cat" Clark

Cat Clark started volunteering at Animal Aid Society in 2020 and is not only a part of our training and enrichment program but is also our Shelter Manager!

Cat Clark is owns and operates Bravo Zulu Dog Training and is a graduate of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild, The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and the Hampton Roads Force Free Network.  Cat not only understands dogs, she understands people and the need to work as a team to meet shared goals. Cat is a 27 year veteran of the US Air Force and earned Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

Stephanie Bass, PMCT2

Stephanie Bass started volunteering at Animal Aid Society in 2019 .........

Cat Clark is owns and operates Dogli Pet Training and Sitting and is a graduate of the Pat .....

Crystal Partain, CPDT-KA

With almost 2 decades of hands on experience in veterinary hospitals, local shelters and rescues, Crystal has been working with pets and their people to improve their lives together in many different settings. She received a dual bachelors degrees in biology and psychology, from Old Dominion University in 2009.

In 2012, she passed the Certification for Professional Dog Trainers exam and began to train professionally shortly after. She is a perpetual student and always improving training skills with her own dogs, taking classes or attending seminars that allow her to help your dogs with the most effective and current methods!

Crystal currently has 5 dogs, who are all continuously teaching her to be a better advocate for the dogs she works with. Opal, a rescued Boxer mix, is the namesake for The Freckled Paw. She has taught Crystal the most about living with challenging dogs, while working through her separation anxiety, stranger danger, and dog selective behaviors

 

2021 Board Members

2020 / 2021 Board Members

Sharon Bilyj

President

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I have been passionate about animals since I was a little girl. My best friend growing up was the family dog, Chester, who was my constant companion during the many moves (including overseas) we made as part of a military family.

I first came to Animal Aid Society through adoption: I took home my first AAS dog in 2013. In 2016, I began fostering. My volunteering expanded to joining the Friday team on site, walking dogs and cleaning kennels. I then joined the events committee later that same year. In 2018 she ran for the board and was elected President.

Since assuming the presidency, I have worked on implementing new technologies and marketing initiatives that will help Animal Aid Society connect more easily and in meaningful ways with potential adopters and the community that we serve and establishing relationships with organizations that will help expand our impact in rescue efforts.

Kelly Loer

Vice President

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I came to Animal Aid Society in 2014 looking to heal after the passing of my dog. I started as a kennel attendant & in 2015 began managing our social media.

There are no words to describe the feeling of seeing a dog come in, potentially scared, confused, disoriented, and watching them blossom with the care of our volunteers.  It is amazing. And, of course, there is no better feeling than seeing a dog drive off from the shelter with their new family - except maybe the feeling that we get when adopters send us pictures of those same dogs relaxed and happy in their new homes.

Managing our social media, I get to share these stories with our community. It is so important to connect with people to keep them informed about the difference that we are making in the lives of these dogs. I feel grateful to be able to be a part of showcasing what we do - day in and day out - for the betterment of the dogs in our care.

Pam Oakes

Treasurer

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I’m retired from civil service after 32 years. My background is finance, management, and personnel. I started volunteering at Animal Aid Society in March of 2017. I have always loved animals, particularly dogs. I waited to come to the shelter after my elderly dogs passed. I came to the shelter because I want to help dogs and hopefully make their lives better while at shelter. I’m assistant shift leader on Thursdays. I have also filled in for a few other shifts and have worked several evening shifts. I have helped with a few events, yard sale, mistletoe photos and supported other events.

I hope to bring some of my management/finance expertise to the board and shelter to help with the expansion we will go through for the next few years.

Mona Komljenovich

Secretary

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My journey with AAS started over 20 years ago as a Pet Pal. About this time the shelter received a very scared Rottweiler who had not lived a very good life. His name was Windermere. I fell in love with him and came as often as I could to spend time with him. Being a Rottweiler not everyone was comfortable with him so I was allowed to go behind the gates to get him. This lead me to be able to spend time getting to know the volunteers and realize this was something I needed to do – help the dogs.

Pam Christensen

Member At Large

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I was invited to volunteer at Animal Aid Society in October 2005 by a neighbor who
volunteered on Tuesday. I was very excited to be part of the then only no-kill shelter in Hampton Roads.

I have served one term on the board, as Intake Coordinator and as team leader on Tuesdays for the past few years. Over the years I have participated in dog washes, training programs and other special events at the Shelter.

When I began volunteering 14 years ago I just wanted to help rescue dogs. I want to help rescue dogs and be an integral part of the future of Animal Aid Society. In 2020 we can either move forward, remain stagnant or worse cease to exist. With proper leadership AAS has the resources, the opportunity to expand, to rescue even more dogs, to automate and to become the best shelter in all of Virginia.

After all...our dogs deserve the very best that we can give them!

Ann Knipple

Member At Large

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A love of all animals, especially dogs, from toddler-hood, curiosity and desire to give support and assistance to a respected no-kill rescue brought me to Animal Aid Society in October 1999. I am currently the Adoption Committee Chair, help with medical transport, and work on Wednesday night PM shift. I have served in many capacities over my 20+ years of service: Treasurer, Intake assistant, Shelter Manager Committee, and Saturday shift pooper scooper.

I will continue to lead by example with a focus on care, health, welfare and emotional needs of the dogs, never losing sight of our ultimate goal: adoption into a loving, caring, and financially stable home so the dog can be a valued addition to a family.

Stephanie Muraca-Grabowski

Member At Large

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In 2017, while scouring the web for dog photos, I stumbled across Animal Aid Society's website. One dog in particular stood out – Bucky. He looked like a gargoyle. I had to meet him... and I was hooked.

I’m a Sunday-shift volunteer, Adoption Committee and Shelter Manager Committee
member, and Training Coordinator. I love everything about Animal Aid Society – the dogs, of course, but also the people. I’m awed by the selfless dedication of the volunteers who show up, rain or shine, sacrificing time with family and friends to get down in the mud with the dogs (I keep telling myself that the brown stuff is JUST mud...), care for them, and love them. I don’t think MY vision for the future matters – what matters is the collective vision of the volunteers whose time in the runs makes the difference between a “warehouse for homeless dogs,” and a “haven for homeless dogs.”

Diane Witiak

Member At Large

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I began volunteering at AAS in mid Jan 2005 and am about to celebrate 15 years at the shelter. I promised myself when I retired that I would devote time to help animals in need and assist in finding permanent homes for them. Finding the Animal Aid Society with its no-kill policy was the perfect fit for me.

I serve as Shift leader on Thursdays and also volunteer on Tuesdays. I've served on the board in the past, was treasurer for 2 years, worked with the adoption committee and served as chair for several years. I also handle one or two home visits each month for AAS dogs who have recently been adopted in Hampton.

I want to do all I can to assist in the rebuilding of AAS to ensure there will always be a no-kill shelter in Hampton for homeless, abandoned, abused and stray dogs. Just as AAS's structure has significantly changed since its inception in 1971, I hope to play a role in the rebuild of a state-of-the art facility that serves as a role model for other rescue organizations throughout Virginia.

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