City of Norfolk Pet-Friendly Emergency Shelter

The City of Norfolk has a Pet-Friendly shelter at the Bayview Recreation Center in the event evacuations are recommended or even required.

This is the only location that will accept pets in Norfolk. It is available for domestic animals only and satisfies the requirements of the PETS Act.

The City’s Pet Trailer (received through Urban Area Security Initiative/Homeland Security Grant funds) is equipped with supplies to set up clean and sanitary pet shelter operations. Equipment includes tarps, cages of all sizes, kits and equipment for registration of pets.

Owners are responsible for taking care of their own pets and providing food and medication. Pets accepted at the Pet-Friendly Shelter are domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents or turtles that are household pets. Animals not accepted are: reptiles (except turtles), amphibians, fish, insects/arachnids and farm animals. Service animals are permitted at all shelters.

Pet Evacuation Preparation Tips:

  • Plan for your pet well in advance if you live in an evacuation area. Write down your plan or create a checklist.

  • Take your pet when you evacuate. Know your evacuation route and when you will evacuate.

  • Make sure you have a collar and leash for keeping your pet under control.

  • Keep a pet carrier (portable kennel) for each pet – one that allows your pet to stand and turn around. The carrier should be marked with your pet’s identification.

  • Make sure all your pet’s vaccinations are current and have proof available of its current city issued tag and rabies vaccination.

  • Pack supplies for your pet including current veterinary records, a two-week supply of food and water, medications with instructions, bowls, favorite toy and blanket, cat litter/pan, plastic bags, collar/leash, disinfectants to handle pet wastes and a current photo of you with your pet.

  • Make sure your pet has proper identification with either a collar tag or a microchip implant. 

  • Have proof of current rabies vaccination available.

If you don't live in the City of Norfolk, check with your city's emergency preparedness department to find out if they offer Pet-Friendly Shelters.

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Animal Care Center


5585 Sabre Road
Norfolk, VA 23502