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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Virginia Incorporated

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Services, Animals

Mission: To inspire compassion for all living things, to provide shelter to animals in need, and to promote adoptions, animal welfare, and responsible pet ownership in our community.

Results: In 2015: We assisted more than 2,000 animals. Many of these animals came to us with serious medical and behavioral issues. We were able to help critically sick and injured animals, such as a group of cats that had been locked in a U-haul for five days with no food or water, with the incredible support of our donors and community partners. We collaborated with 36 shelters and rescue groups in Virginia, the D.C. metro area, and West Virginia to help place animals in need of loving families. We also partnered with Humane Society International and helped 30 dogs rescued from meat farms in South Korea which helped educate people in the United States about the plight of dogs raised for food and educated the community about the work of local animal shelters - increasing shelter adoptions in the region. We expanded our foster program and facilitated 637 placements of animals in foster care. This allowed us to provide care for underage animals, animals who needed extra care, and animals with behavioral needs that were better addressed in a home environment. This year,151 volunteers donated over 11,860 hours of time to AWLA. The time our volunteers donated is equivalent to 5 1/2 full-time staff. In 2014, 7,390 hours were donated, so our volunteers' increased impact was awe-inspiring this year. We hosted and helped organize 6 training sessions on animal care and made them available for free to all shelters in the region, increasing knowledge and capacities for our counterparts throughout our Virginia and the D.C. metro area. We collaborated with the Alexandria Police Department to create general police orders for animals to give clear direction to police officers on how to handle animals and animal issues in the field. We rescued animals and investigated / charged 25 cases of criminal animal abuse and neglect and took these to the Virginia's Commonwealth and the City Attorney for prosecution.

Target demographics: animals including domestic and wild

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 2000 animals

Geographic areas served: the City of Alexandria and surrounding areas of Northern Virginia

Programs: sheltering of over 2000 animals per year and investigating cases of animal abuse and neglect

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

AWLA is an absolutely wonderful non-profit animal shelter that I've had the pleasure to work with. In March 2017 I noticed a beautiful senior cat with health issues (Mini) that they posted on their Facebook page. I was interested in adopting her but worried about the medical costs of her health issues--through correspondece, AWLA staff was so helpful in giving me as much information about Mini as possible so that I could make an informed decision. They sent me all of Mini's medical records and any other information they could, and they patiently answered the many questions that I asked them. I decided to adopt Mini, and the staff were overjoyed that she had found a forever home--their joy and excitement was so heartwarming, and a wonderful testament to the work they do. The AWLA was kind enough to send me home with a very generous supply of food for Mini's prescription diet (for at least several months) at no extra charge, as well as her current medications. I kept AWLA updated on Mini and my loving relationship, and they always received our updates with genuine enthusiasm and kindness. Sadly, Mini passed after only two months in my care, but with her death, the AWLA continued to be kind, compassionate, and supportive. Their staff offered the sweetest words and deepest condolences, and the AWLA director sent me a thoughtful sympathy card. I was so impressed and thankful for the attention that they gave (and continue to give) my adoption. The AWLA also sent me many professional portraits of Mini from the shelther, free of charge, and they continue to remember her fondly. In just these short few months of working with the AWLA, I've had a wonderful experience and been so impressed with and thankful for their generosity and diligent work. They are truly making a difference in animals' lives (and in people's lives!), and I'm so thankful that I've been able to work with them and experience their charity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for the Alexandria Animal Shelter for about 20 years. We have adopted four animals from the shelter. This shelter continues to amaze me with their level of care and professionalism. They are led by an experienced and well regarded Executive Director. In recent years they have significantly increased the number of animals they have found homes for, including reaching out to other shelters to assist them with animals they cannot handle. It is obvious that the staff really cares about each and every animal that comes through their doors.

Jennifer558

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer here since 2009 and have loved every moment I have spent either at the shelter or helping with special events. I was hesitant at first to volunteer at an animal shelter since I figured it would be horribly depressing. And while spending time with homeless animals (dogs in particular) tugs on the heart strings, I am never sad to visit or upset when I leave because it is such an amazing organization supported and run by wonderful people who are so committed to the mission of helping our community's most helpless citizens. The shelter is clean, well maintained, never smells (amazing considering how many animals call it home) and is incredibly welcoming. Thank you to the Alexandria Animal Welfare League for everything you do every day!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my amazing dog from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria several years ago, and it was a fantastic experience. From our foster through our post-adoption period, the Shelter was amazing, answering questions, providing "charm school" classes, and giving great advice. It was such a great experience, that I have chosen to become a volunteer for the shelter, to help others (peoples and pets) have an equally positive time of it. Thanks so much to the AWLA for bringing beloved companions to pet owners like me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered here for over a year. It's clear they care about their animals and will do everything they can to find them the right home no matter how long it takes. Fantastic staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer here and the staff, facilities, and animal care are all top notch—highly recommend!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with then and got 4 pets through them. The staff goes above and beyond, the animals are all well cared for and it is a wonderful place to visit.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is the absolute best facility in DMV (metro area)
The staff is attentive, compassionate and committed to getting animals to good homes. In memory of Sophie, an AWLA alum, thank you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with many shelters and AWLA has the most caring staff, makes more favorable adoptions and has cleanest facilities of any i have been associated with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria for almost a year. I find shelter staff to be incredibly conscientious and dedicated to doing what is best for the animals who they see (in whatever capacity) and also the people who use their services (either to adopt, to surrender their animals, or to bring in a "stray" they have found). The staff is comprised of true animal lovers who also care deeply about people. A winning combination!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my local animal welfare league as I am a City of Alexandria resident. I am proud to "wear the shirt" and volunteer there. It is wonderful to be truly appreciated. Their volunteer program is very well organized and I can't say enough positive things about the entire staff, especially management and the volunteer coordinator. Thank you for letting me be a small part of your organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at the shelter for about a year and have been so impressed with the staff and management of the shelter. They are a remarkable group!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the last 5 years I have been a volunteer the AWLA. I was impressed at the start, but my esteem for this organization has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, especially since the arrival of our director, Meghan Webb. Not only is the best care possible given our animals, every effort is made to reach the ultimate goal-placing them in forever homes.
While striving to meet this goal for the animals, the shelter provides a tremendous service to those who volunteer there. We are made to feel a valued part of the greater effort,. We make friends there, and feel like we are making a valuable contribution to our community!!

1 Diana102

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for umpteen years at animal Welfare League of Alexandria. This shelter is the darling of Alexandria, Virginia. We love animals here in our small historic city. It is common for residents to brag about adopting a rescue pet from our shelter. The shelter has very well organized programs for staff and volunteers. Every animal that we rescue is evaluated in detail by trained specialists and veterinarians. We have a large foster program that supports the neediest with at home care. Did you know that this shelter travels to other countries to do emergency rescue of dogs who are thrown into crowded meat trucks headed for a food factory? Did you know that we have volunteers who will rescue wildlife in our area and other towns and take them to wonderful volunteer rehabbers who care for their broken wings or limbs? The partnerships the staff has with other shelters has extended the training and the care of animals. Through donations of time and money this animal shelter has succeeded in its mission to save, by all means possible, an animal who needs a second chance.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering as a dog walker for almost a year, and every experience I've had with AWLA has been positive. I've seen the care they take in improving the health & well-being of newly arrived dogs, the effort they take in training volunteers so everyone is consistent with treatment of dogs, the scrutiny of adopters so the dogs have a "forever home," and the professionalism of all the staff. I look forward to my volunteer shifts to brighten my day! It's a valuable resource for Arlington County and Northern Virginia!

1

Client Served

Rating: 1

In early January of this year I made the heartbreaking decision to have my beloved Jade euthanized at VCA Alexandria Hospital. I was told that it may take longer than usual, but that I would be notified when I could pick up her ashes at VCA . As you can imagine, this was an extremely difficult time for me and my family. However, I took some comfort in knowing that Jade would be coming back home. After not hearing from the VCA for 6 weeks, I called them. I was then referred to Ms. Wilson at Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. Ultimately, I was not able to receive Jade’s ashes. However, what is even more distressing is the way I was treated by Ms. Wilson. During our conversation, I was not just told that her ashes had been disposed of but that to test for rabies they had to “cut off her head” to test her brain. Now in addition to losing my sweet girl, I have the mental image of her being decapitated and thrown away like trash. There were other inappropriate comments made during this conversation – however that was by far the most devastating. The image that she provided has haunted me since Thursday and has caused a tremendous amount of pain. I often donate to animal rescue organizations, however, I believe that the leadership of these organizations sets the tone for their activities. The leadership of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria has acted in a way that is contrary to their mission! I often donate to animal rescue organizations; however, I believe that senior leadership sets the tone for their activities. Given that, I am greatly concerned about the direction of this organization.

Review from CharityNavigator

Heidi M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my local resuce, and I am proud to volunteer there. Their volunteer program is incredibly well run, and has a vast array of projects and areas to volunteer in.

pruetta

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a fabulous shelter. They did an excellent job of providing us support when we adopted our lab mix in the summer of 2002. The visit at the shelter was engaging and positive. The follow up home visit was great. They provided follow up support to answer questions about crate training about a month after adoption. We continue to donate to the shelter and receive their newsletter.