Friends of Norfolk Animal Care Center

MISSION — To support the Norfolk Animal Care Center in sheltering and caring for Norfolk’s stray and homeless animals, to promote and facilitate adoptions, to assist with special needs medical care, to promote and support spay/neuter in the community and to educate the public about responsible pet ownership. 


Friends of Norfolk Animal Care Center (FNACC) gives Hampton Roads residents the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of homeless pets. We are a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit created to support the important work of the Norfolk Animal Care Center. Learn more about our mission, what we do, and the many ways you can help.

Tammy Dodson

It is with heavy hearts that we inform our supporters that one of our Board members, Tammy Dodson, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, September 12. A longtime volunteer at the shelter and with Friends, Tammy joined our Board in January, 2017, and shortly thereafter was named Marketing/Fundraising Chair, utilizing her vast knowledge and experience from her day job as Marketing Director for Distance Learning at Old Dominion University.

Tammy’s unending energy and enthusiasm showed in each and every event she helped plan and execute-- from way back at the St. Patty’s Day parade, to more recent partnerships with local breweries and Norfolk Festevents, to our signature events, Dogs Gone Swimming and Dogtoberfest, Tammy could be seen in those familiar tie-dye or NACC green t-shirts! Whether she was in charge or just helping with organization or vendor relations, Tammy’s leadership and professionalism shone through and had a positive impact on everyone around her.

It’s hard to express just how much we’ll miss her… her smile, her sense of humor, and most of all, her compassion for the homeless animals at the shelter. The world now seems just a little dimmer without her shining spirit.

Image by PhotographyCourse

Volunteer Feature: Bob Batcher

Board member Nicole Pellegrino recently caught up with former board member Bob Batcher to learn more about his passion for animals and humans at Norfolk Animal Care Center. His dedication to animal welfare and board service was commemorated earlier this year with a plaque adjacent to the dog area of the Center.


Bob and Nicole strolled through the Center, resisting the urge to adopt every playful kitten, demure bunny and woefully cute dog, before digging a bit deeper into what makes this City of Norfolk “Curmudgeon” (self-proclaimed) tick.

How did you come to know NACC and eventually FNACC?

Over twelve years ago, I was the PR guy for the City of Norfolk when the Police Department was running the Center. I was responsible for changing the shelter’s image from a “dog pound” to a place where people came to adopt animals. I realized we needed to take a collaborative approach and cultivate a relationship with the Norfolk SPCA. They had just painted their building and gave me their remaining colors. I came to our Center and just started putting paint on the walls! The thought was to make the Center more visually appealing to the public. Since then, the City has figured out how to improve the Center operations, and it has grown! 


Fast forward a few years, and I was actually recruited to come on the board as the PR guy from the City. The board had so many passionate people, but everyone had strong opinions. We concluded that we had to put the animal’s needs first and create a mission that put them in the spotlight. I have seen our marketing efforts grow from a few enthusiastic people to over 20 – allowing us then to participate in more events, pouring beer at Norfolk Festevents in Town Point Park and getting our name in the public eye. 


How long did you volunteer and serve as a board member? What roles did you perform?


I served on the board for 11 years, the biggest chunk during my time with the City of Norfolk. Then I retired, got rid of all my ties and started wearing happy socks instead. I have served on the marketing committee and as an emcee at events.


Share a fond memory during your time on the FNACC board.


Our first Dogtoberfest at O’Connor’s was such a fun event. We didn’t know what to do, but we ordered the beer glasses to sell. If you come to my house, that is considered fine dining glassware. Then I ended up emceeing a dog costume contest and wearing lederhosen!  They used to be the only brewery in town, and now there are so many, and they all want to have fundraisers with us! 


What are you proudest of during your tenure?


It was essential to get the message out that adoption is a regional issue, and we were able to get donors from all over together and support wrapping the Tide light rail train when it was brand new. We pushed for adopting – not just from us – but from any shelter or rescue here. That was the epitome of us beginning to work together as a community, as a collaborative partnership. 


What do you hope for the future of NACC/FNACC?


In post-COVID times, people are looking to become connected. At PrimePlus, we talk about how to build a safe, respectful and inclusive community in today’s world. That is a lesson I learned through getting involved in the board. 


I hope we can continue to create an environment that works toward a common goal of creating a safe, respectful, inclusive environment that allows us to come together with the greater community. It is cool to hear people ring the bell when we are out at events (for making a donation), knowing that people will give what they can afford for the animals lovingly.

Let’s keep ringing the bell.

NACC's cupboard is getting a little bare!!

Do you have some spare unopened bags of cat and/or dog kibble? We are more than happy to take it! Our pet pantry has reached critical low levels with no available bags of dry food. Our pet pantry serves as a free resource to help those in need of temporary assistance feeding their pets.


Check here for quick access to our Amazon Wishlist:

Call: 757-441-5505 or Email: or Visit: 5585 Sabre Road Norfolk, Virginia 23502


The Friends of Norfolk Animal Care Center’s Mission is: To support the Norfolk Animal Care Center in sheltering and caring for Norfolk’s stray and homeless animals, to promote and facilitate adoptions, to assist with special needs medical care, to promote and support spay/neuter in the community and to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.


The Board is pleased to share with you our Annual Report for 2021 which reviews our Mission-focused programs.


During 2020 and 2021, the years affected by covid, we adjusted our approaches to fund raising and serving the Animal Care Center. We continued our programs to care for Norfolk’s stray and homeless animals and also provided funds for improvements to the Center.  Our specific programs to support the animals are highlighted in the Annual Report. Our improvements to the Care Center included working with TowneBank to wrap the new mobile van, providing outside shades for the dogs’ play yards, purchasing a tag machine so lost pets could be identified and go home, providing pet waste stations throughout the property, purchasing chicken coops, obtaining a pressure washer and supporting staff appreciation events.


We are proud of our ability to contribute to the community and to permanently and positively affect the lives of many needy animals in Norfolk. We thank those who have provided support to us and welcome those who would like to volunteer to support our programs.


Friends of the Norfolk Animal Care Center Board


2021 Annual Report

It was the biggest local giving day of the year!!

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Thank you for your generous donation to the Friends of Norfolk Animal Care Center (FNACC) through the Give Local 757 campaign. The $10,687 we raised on May 10th will help FNACC fund numerous projects including subsidized adoptions, low cost spay/neuter clinics, money for specialized veterinary medical and surgical care, Norfolk Pet Pantry maintenance, and purchases of equipment and materials.


All these  projects aid in Norfolk Animal Care Center’s efforts to find new forever homes for abandoned  animals, keep pets well fed in homes with financial restraints, reduce the city pet population problem, improving the shelter’s overall animal comfort and adoption percentages, and support both employees and volunteers in order to make their jobs more rewarding.


To Our fellow Animal Lovers


When you are inspired to give during the holiday season, or any time throughout the year, please remember the Friends of Norfolk Animal Care (FNACC) and help our four-legged friends at the Norfolk Animal Care Center (NACC). Your donation helps animals like 14-year-old Sophia and 1-year-old Donut.


Meet Sophia. After her elderly owner died, Sophia came to NACC in need of medical attention. She had an upper respiratory infection, fleas, and trouble walking due to her long-hair coat being severely matted. Malnourished, weak, and showing possible neurological symptoms, her prognosis was poor, but the NACC staff felt that placing her in a foster home would allow for a true diagnosis and give her a possible chance at recovery.

Sophia stayed with a NACC staff member and began her treatment, which included medication and the process of slowly removing litter and feces from her paws, which had become severely impacted over the years. Though she was weak and only ate food from hand feeding, Sophia purred and loved laying on a lap to soak up the love and attention.

Her condition improved by leaps and bounds over the next few months — her fur started to grow back, and she gained enough energy to play with her toys again. Her foster parents had fallen in love and adopted her.


The vet confirmed she is 90% deaf and suffers from mild seizures, which are easily managed with medication. Today, Sophia spends most of her days lounging on her personal heating pad.


Meet Donut. Found as a stray and in need of medical care, Donut was placed in a foster home while she received treatment. Her medical needs included surgery performed by an internal medicine veterinarian which is quite costly. Thanks to generous donations to Friends of Norfolk Animal Care Center, Donut’s surgery expenses were covered in full prior to her adoption, and she is now living a happy life with her rescue cat and dog siblings.

Sophia and Donut’s stories are not new. Because of our generous donors, Friends of NACC has been able to help thousands of animals. including the ones pictured above, through all types of medical care.


Your donation of $25 will purchase the kitten formula needed to feed one kitten for an entire month. $50 will subsidize the adoption of a homeless dog, allowing a loving family to take her home. $125 will cover the cost of one of three rounds of a dog’s heartworm treatment. $250 will provide five senior pets in-depth blood panels to help diagnose disease.

Thank you in advance for your gift of a purring, licking, and snuggling life.

Doug Beckmann


For the past ten years, the dogs at our shelter were given unconditional love by an extraordinary volunteer, Doug Beckmann.  Doug was often the first human to give a forlorn pup the first sense that everything would be alright. He showed even the most challenging dogs that positive human connections could be made, which led to so many being placed in adoptive homes.

The Norfolk Animal Care Center family and the world lost Doug suddenly in April, and he will be deeply missed. He was a leader by example among our volunteer team. Walk one more dog, fold the last blanket, try to connect with a dog who may seem a little skittish – he created that standard at our center.

To honor his memory, donations were collected for the purchase of a pet identification tag machine. We're calling it “Doug-Tags”.  It is available not only for new pet owners and those reunited but for the community, providing an affordable option to identify a lost pet quickly. Something Doug would appreciate. 

Truly heartbroken today, but I know he is walking a leash-biting dog over the rainbow bridge …and wouldn’t have it any other way” –  Bryce, NACC team member.

Stop by NACC today and see all the great work the staff and volunteers do every day. Consider purchasing a Doug-Tag for your pet.  As always, thank you for your continued support!

Pam Hyatt

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Two years ago, Pamela Scott Hyatt died leaving a legacy of music and love, including for her own beloved cats and for the cats at NACC, where she volunteered.


Now, the new cat colony room, made possible in part by a bequest Hyatt left to Friends of Norfolk Animal Care Center, has been named in her honor. The colony room allows cats to live together in an open space, providing a more home-like environment and allowing social cats to interact.

Hyatt deeply loved her own cats, Oliver and Fritz, and loved to share stories and pictures of them. She adopted one of them from NACC. We are humbled by and grateful for her generosity. 

Gifts like Hyatt's help Friends of Norfolk Animal Care Center subsidize adoptions, assist with specialized medical care for sick and injured animals and promote spay/neuter programs in the community.