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2019 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 2016: 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, like Arielle, a shepherd puppy who came to us with a deformity of her spine who would need surgery to help her walk and live her life as a normal dog. With the incredible support of our donors and community partners, we were able to provide Arielle with the surgery she needed. We collaborated with 37 shelters and rescue groups in Virginia and the D.C. metro area to help place animals in need of loving families. We also continued our relationship with Humane Society International and to aid more dogs rescued from meat farms in South Korea, helping to educate people in the United States about the plight of dogs raised for food. We expanded our foster program and facilitated hundreds of 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 past year, more than 250 volunteers donated nearly 14,000 hours of time to AWLA. The time our volunteers donated is equivalent to more than 6 1/2 full-time staff. 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 cases of criminal animal abuse and neglect and took these to the Virginia's Commonwealth and the City Attorney for prosecution, helping to ensure the safety of Alexandria's Animals.

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

58 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We adopted Joshua from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria over a year ago and it was a very good experience. We very much appreciate the work of the shelter in helping animals find forever homes

Greg M.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this place. The staff and other volunteers are outstanding. It's clear how much everyone cares.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with the AWLA of Alexandria as both a dog and cat volunteer. I am constantly impressed with how every animal is given individual attention and care. I often hope that every homeless animal finds its way to a shelter like this one.

Sylvia G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a foster parent volunteer for the past year, AWLA volunteers and staff are wonderful to work with and really, really care about all our furry friends and want your adoption experience to be a wonderful one . Please consider adopting your furever new addition to your family from AWLA!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a foster volunteer and an adopter, I have seen the great work they do at this shelter. Everyone is working hard to take great care of each and every animal. They go above and beyond to help the animals whether it be provide medication, exercise, special training... I have fostered over 10 dogs for this shelter and adopted our dog Izzy from them. Izzy is the best dog ever because of the care and training they provided! I wouldn't adopt from any other shelter!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at the shelter a couple years ago and it has been such a great experience. I've gotten to work in so many different roles and learned so much about dogs and animal welfare. They really care about the animals and focus on their wellbeing and getting them into forever homes!

Jo-Ann G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering in mid March 2019, there is a lot of training for volunteers before you can walk the dogs, be with the cats and SMAMS. Training classes are always available. It took me about a month before I adopted a senior (Tyga-yorkie mix) to be a companion to the senior dog (Oreo -Shizuh mix) I already had! (Bad part of volunteering lol!)

Most importantly, the animals are very well cared for. Everyone works as a team, whether it is staff or volunteers. There are so many fosters that do a great job getting kittens and puppies ready for new homes. Everyone is truly devoted to all the residents living there. I love that there are so many adoption events, a kids summer camp, reading to cats, field trips, etc.

I love taking a dog on a field trip to Old Town on Friday mornings. I try to find a dog during the week to take, luckily they sometimes get adopted before Friday!

Denise H.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a volunteer at AWLA since 2012 and my time spent at the shelter is truly a highlight of my week because the work is so rewarding. The volunteer camaraderie is strong and the staff have done wonders in bringing in new volunteers and developing a strong training program.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The shelter protects the animals and gives them their own space. The shelter helps animals with injuries. The shelter also socializes the animals so they aren't afraid when they go to their new home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been with AWLA for almost one year. We help out every Saturday with cleaning the cat and small animal enclosures and have cared for three cats (Betsy, Spot and Malala) in our home through AWLA’s foster program. AWLA is a fabulous place filled with people (staff and volunteers) who are as crazy about animals and animal welfare as me. I still find myself wanting to take home all the animals, especially the seniors, but I am comforted that AWLA is dedicated to finding suitable homes for all animals in their care.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a foster volunteer with AWLA for a little over two years. The staff is amazing in answering questions and responding at all hours when there is an emergency. Even though I've had cats my entire life learning how to care for pregnant moms, neonate's and cats with medical issues has been a whole new chapter of pet care. As I write this there are 4 kittens running around my house and with each litter I shed a few tears as they head out to adoption. The great thing is I know the staff at AWLA is finding them great forever homes.

Tracie M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently moved out of Alexandria and the thing I miss most is AWLA. I was a volunteer there for a year and appreciated the way I was welcomed into the fold.

AWLA requires volunteers to go through training for each role they want to fill. Because the training is so good staff can then trust volunteers to work autonomously while giving us the assurances that staff will always be there to help with questions and support. I felt really valued there as a volunteer. Later I also fostered cats and I received the same level of staff support when I needed behavioral advice on my fosters.

Everyone at AWLA understands they are there to serve both animals and people. Everyone’s goal is to facilitate great matches, and there are smiles all around whenever a longtime resident finds his or her perfect family.

1 David F.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved to the Virginia area a few years ago and didn’t know anybody. I wanted to get involved in my community and took a chance on the Alexandria shelter. It certainly was life-changing! This is a first-class facility with exceptional staff and volunteers. No matter what role you choose, it will be certainly rewarding. I volunteer, help out with outside projects, have adopted and I continue to foster dogs. Simply do the one hour orientation and learn. You will be hooked!

Diana102

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I foster at the AWLA (Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.) I have done it for over 20 + years. Every year we save animals in shelters all over the country and bring home poor, left to die, animals from all over the world who have never been loved. We care for homeless animals and protect them from domestic or street abuse.

Pups and cats are the largest population of guests in our care. Some need more training before they can be adopted and that is where our Dream Team of Staff, Volunteers and Fosters come in. They are taught to work with the shy ones and anxious loves before they are adoptable. We also diagnose and treat new arrivals for medical problems and our donors support them with gracious contributions. We, after all, serve the Alexandria area known for its love of owning many dogs and kitties along with the little special categories of pets.

Yes, we have wee little pets too from the exotic to the bunnies and turtles and birds and volunteers and staff who will train new owners. I learn so much from them. It is always fascinating.

This animal shelter volunteer program is extraordinary. New volunteers start by participating in levels of training with mentors as they gain confidence and knowledge. Classes are in continual rotation. I spent 10 years as a shelter volunteer before becoming a Foster. Those years served me well as I worked in many areas and increased my awareness of new training approaches.

With a well-organized staff and a growing mission to accommodate Alexandria residents and all over the DC metro area, the Foster Program I am a part of serve many roles to support our animal care from birthing to working with homeless animals who need extra hours of care, training and love. Many of us, when we can, become “Foster Fails.” The bond is very strong.

The ultimate goal is to send an adoptable spayed or neutered homeless animal to the right forever home. From two months old pets to super senior status we extend our services to make them ready. AWLA is a favorite non-profit in in our beautiful city and behond, Want to adopt a pet? Go to to Alexandriaanimals.org to see our latest adoptable pets.



Previous Stories
1

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.

Kim Jones G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a big fan of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria! As the owner of a local pet-care business, I have interacted with the AWLA leadership and volunteers in numerous ways over the years and have always been impressed by their professionalism, dedication, and compassion. My husband and I gladly volunteer our time there whether it be presenting at summer camp, evaluating dogs, participating in the annual Clear the Shelters day, or hosting donation drives. We also partner with them on organizing the annual Alexandria Love Your Pet Day which is a fun community celebration with over 600 people attending that raised $8000 dog the shelter last year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at AWLA any chance I can. The staff there do everything possible to keep these animals safe and happy. I fostered once, too and they made it extremely easy for both me and precious Polly.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just started volunteering with the AWLA recently and am very impressed. They ensure everyone who deals with the animals are properly trained on how to work with them to ensure everyone's safety. The animals are treated so well, and work with them to help them become more adoptable. This is a great place!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered here for about a year and everyone there goes above and beyond every day to make the animals feel special and to get them homes. I also adopted my dog from them and I'm so grateful. Such a nice place full of nice people who all share the same goal, and have the same high standards for animal care.

Viki T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a cat companion volunteer at AWLA for almost 20 years. Some may wonder why I keep volunteering at AWLA. Many people who visit the shelter comment on how clean the shelter is and how well the shelter keeps the animals comfortable with lots of beds and toys. A genuine camaraderie between shelter staff and volunteers. AWLA now has many senior cats waiting for their forever homes. Please keep them in mind when thinking about adoption. Many of the senior cats could also be fostered and that is another option. "What greater gift than the love of a cat"--Charles Dickens.

Ericka K.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I’ve been a volunteer at the Alexandria animal shelter for over three years and have seen many improvements, particularly in the areas of volunteering and fostering. Every volunteer and staff member I’ve met care deeply and are dedicated to the welfare of the animals in their care and to educating adopters in the proper care of their new family member. I love this place and the people who make it special!