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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

82 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ALWA Alexandria is a super fun and super organized place to volunteer at! Everyone is so kind and helpful, and I can tell they love what they do. It's been wonderful starting as a new volunteer where I could easily get plugged in on how to help out through all of their web-based and in-person training.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about these people. They care fiercely for the critters and those that love them. Each animal gets attention appropriate to its comfort level and the attention to detail and animal EMPATHY is off the charts. I remember in volunteer training how it was important to consider the order in which you interacted with the animals so those lower on the food chain didn't smell what might be a predator on your clothing. Cats get classical music. Shy animals get privacy "curtains". They all are little rock-stars with biographys, cute nicknames, and often personalized artwork to represent them. When there is spare capacity the shelter will take in transfers from neighboring facilities that might be overloaded. Outreach, community involvement, animal control with heart. Not just an animal shelter, but a great business model and example of the successful mixing of compassion and resource management.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for an experience to match up to my volunteering in Houston Texas as a shelter there where I met my best feline friend Magic. I honestly wasn't expecting much, as this area often seems more concerned with hot yoga and coffee shops...but after adopting our cat Talia from the Eisenhower location and donating every year and that one time when they accepted a seagull we found sitting lazily in the middle of the highway...these folks care. My volunteer experience has cemented the idea that the critters come first. The real surprise, however, was the combination of creativity and competence...movies and posters are made...and the cages are clean...and everything is disinfected...and girl scouts are invited...and social media is tended to...and a hand is extended to other shelters in need. Its a rare thing to see both the yin and the yang tended to...the wants AND the needs. This place is truly an inspiration and worthy of being a role model to any business...

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria for over 30 years. I have socialized dogs, participated as a volunteer in adoption events, community events to donate services and goods (vaccines, food, toys, pet care supplies, grooming services, beds, crates, carriers, everything), animal transport, writing animal bios and taking photos, dishes, laundry, donation sorting, landscaping, painting, summer camp for kids, and training other volunteers. I have adopted three dogs from the shelter and been a long-time donor.

I also have been a volunteer for other animal rescue organizations as well as organizations serving disadvantaged individuals. Hands down, AWLA is the best non-profit I have ever worked with or know of. From their small roots in a dilapidated building in a tough location, they have grown to be truly extraordinary.

The volunteer program itself is so comprehensive and well-organized, and staff are consistently positive, patient, appreciative, flexible and encouraging. They provide extensive ongoing training to all the volunteers.

AWLA takes extraordinary care of the animals, providing enrichment activities, training, toys, clean bedding, clean water, high quality food, regular walks for dogs a number of times each day, and endless affection and attention to each and every animal.

The whole place is remarkably clean and disinfected on a daily basis, including the animal housing/kennels, food and water receptacles, towels, bedding, toys, leashes and surfaces. An on staff vet and local community vets provide excellent health care, and behaviorists and trainers work regularly with struggling dogs to address behavior issues to promote their adopt ability.

Outreach to the community has become such a robust part of who they are, helping people to take care of their animals to try interventions to address behavior issues in the home. They provide free food and supplies and vaccines to community members and care for family pets in the shelter if the family is addressing issues or challenges of its own.

This place is like family, an integral part of the community and an oasis of kindness and benevolence in a world that is exhausted and traumatized and too often harsh.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started fostering with AWLA in 2020 and have had a great experience. The staff and volunteers at AWLA put great care into the animals that are both at the shelter and with fosters. They always put the animals first, and make sure they have the right resources and healthcare. I also adopted one of the dogs I fostered, and everything with the process was smooth start to finish. Wonderful organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria at the end of 2021. Previously, I had attended events like Kongs-giving, stocking stuffing at Christmas, and paint your pet. I was very impressed and knew I wanted to volunteer there. Volunteers are provided with so much valuable training - I have trained to work with cats and small animals. There are many different ways you can volunteer- you can do what works with your interests and schedule. I love being around the animals - so cute and sweet. The staff at the shelter are truly awesome - it's obvious that they do what they do because they genuinely love animals. It is a great place to volunteer and I love it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization with such incredible staff and volunteers. The compassion they show for each and every animal that comes through their doors is amazing. All are shown such love and compassion in such great times of need.

1 Lisa D.15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with the AWLA since September, 2019. It all started when I signed up for a Thanksgiving Kong-a-thon Stuffing event. We were given a tour, I saw my (soon to be) cat, Troggy and the next day I went back and adopted him. After that, I knew I needed to volunteer with this amazing organization.
I always said that I prefer animals to people - and that held true until I started there. The people at the AWLA are the heartbeat of that place. The animals that come and go are just on a brief stop in their life's journey but they sure did luck out when they landed at AWLA.
From the vet staff (amazing!) to the animal care tech team (fabulous!) to the Animal Service Officers (top-notch!) and then the adoptions team - well, I have run out of adjectives!
All I can say is that I love volunteering there - the people, the animals, the community - they make it special.
Keep up the amazing good works!
**oh - and did I mention the darn good community based programs that they offer to the residents of Alexandria? BAR NONE!
Since then, I have adopted 2 more pets and fostered a few - I cant imagine my life without being at the AWLA.

Valerie C.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with AWLA since Aug 2021 and I can say it is a truly wonderful organization. Every single person there has the best interests of the animals at heart, and they are so appreciative of the volunteer staff. Their volunteer training and overall organization at the shelter is excellent and I am proud to be a part of this caring and professional group of people. They also assist the community with many varied outreach programs which are utilized by many folks who benefit from their services. When people hear I volunteer at the shelter they say, oh isn’t that too sad? I tell them no, it is a privilege to be part of such a positive group of people whose entire focus is to improve the animals’ daily lives and assist them with finding their forever homes.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great organization! The staff is wonderful and the organization serves and helps so many animals find homes. You can tell they really care for the animals and all people they encounter.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with the AWLA, I see firsthand how much this organization does. Besides finding forever homes for many animals of all species, the AWLA runs a pet food pantry for people who are in need of resources for their pets. They run summer camps and other youth programs to share information about animal care. They cooperate with shelters in other parts of the country to improve the chances of animals being adopted while sharing resources donated to this shelter with shelters in need. Such an awesome example of how people can help others and animals in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been fostering cats and kittens through AWLA since November of 2019. The staff are incredibly supportive and encouraging and have set up a community where other fosters and volunteers can share stories and trade advice. In the spring of 2021 I took in my first pregnant mama cat foster. One of her kittens, Smokey, was born with spina bifada and required specialized care. AWLA reached out to a non-profit that specialized in special-needs kitten care to give Smokey the best chance at a great life. They kept checking in on Smokey’s progress even though he was no longer under their direct care. Smokey is healthy and happy in his forever home where he can play and snuggle with another special-needs cat that he became best friends with. AWLA truly goes above and beyond to give their wards the best lives possible and give their fosters and volunteers wonderful and rewarding experiences.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m so proud to be a volunteer at the AWLA. This organization does so many things for animals, and animal lovers, in our community. They do everything they can to remove barriers to pet ownership and to keep families their beloved pets together. As a volunteer, the staff at the shelter will always meet you where you are - they provide training, mentorship, and offer so many different ways for people of all ages and abilities to be able to contribute to their mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at the AWLA for a little more than 3 years and I have had found the organization to be committed to the welfare of the animals, the education and support of the community and the training and support of the volunteers. The training program for volunteers is well organized and varied, communication is outstanding with weekly emails and special communication when needed, opportunities for participation in special events and community outreach is available and recognition for volunteer hours and effort is often and very well done. The AWLA is an outstanding organization that actually lives their mission statement, and I'm very happy to be a part of their team.

1 Irene T

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria in November 2019 and I immediately knew I made the right decision. I always wanted to volunteer for an animal shelter, but didn't really know where to start. AWLA made the whole process of getting started so easy.

They take their volunteer opportunities very seriously and provide extensive training in order to ensure safety for both animals and volunteers. You can't just walk in and start helping out with the animals, you need to take appropriate classes, complete trainings and volunteer for a certain amount of hours before you can get to the next level. That way all of us are comfortable and ready to handle any situation by the time we actually interact with the animals.

The staff at AWLA is amazing and so supportive. As a volunteer, you never feel like you're imposing, even if you ask a million questions; the staff is there to help and to teach. They take such an amazing care of all the animals and truly treat them as their own. When it comes to adoptions AWLA does everything in their power to ensure that it's the right fit for the people and the animals, minimizing the chance of failed adoptions.

Every animal at AWLA gets individual attention both from the volunteers and staff on daily basis. They get play time, in-kennel cuddles, walks, treats, and all their medical needs are always tended to. And even though shelter environment is far from ideal for anyone, at AWLA every animal gets the best treatment and therefore the best chance of finding their forever home.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the nearly two years of my volunteering at AWLA, I have been inspired many times by the dedication of the staff and volunteers to animals as well as Alexandria and its neighboring communities. All animals are treated humanely and with compassion. The staff works hard to help animals get adopted to homes where they will thrive. The staff gives full disclosure on an animal's background. Volunteers are well- trained before being allow to work with animals at the shelter.
The staff reaches out to young people by educating and assisting scout troops, leading birthday parties, sponsoring adult evenings, and more.
The vibe of the shelter is welcoming and inclusive. Some people come in on weekends just to look at the pets, others call with questions... All are greeted warmly and respecfully.
The shelter is perpetually in a state of organized movement.
Food is given to those who cannot afford to feed their pets. The shelter gave away pet food to anyone who needed it during last year's government shutdown, but I often witness people from the community coming in to get food for their pets.
There is so much more to say, but not enough space or time to say it all. Animal Welfare League of Alexanria, VA is truly a nonprofit that runs on a very tight budget, but still the staff tirelessly does everything possible to help animals and the community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at the AWLA for over a year and I love the staff and other volunteers. From the moment I started, everyone has been supportive, helpful and friendly, making sure that my experience has been great. The animals are always everyone's main focus, we all love them and truly want was is best for them and that shows in every aspect of the work at the shelter. I have always been an animal lover but volunteering at the AWLA I have learned so much more about animals and gained and enormous amount of confidence in handling various animals. I have had the opportunity to work with the public and that too has also been really rewarding, teaching people more about what the AWLA does. My only regrets are that I didn't start volunteering sooner and that I cannot be there more often.

1 rdpipkins

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at the AWLA every two weeks (and more if my schedule allows!) I look forward to my time there so much! The staff is WONDERFUL. They take the BEST care of all the animals, big and small, wings to paws. They offer such great training courses for the volunteers so that we feel comfortable no matter what animal we are working with that day. They offer amazing opportunities for our communities, from meow meditation classes to providing free food/supplies to those that cannot afford them. I LOVE the AWLA.

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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.

1 Felipe D.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Everyone here is great, passionate about what they do and their love for animals! I have fostered several dogs from there and always have the pleasure of interacting with great people and learn about programs and events they have. They are very appreciative of everyone who helps as well. I am actively involved as a boars member. I believe in what AWLA works for and I want ro help!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Absolutely love AWLA -- I've been volunteering with AWLA since August of 2019. It's always nice to find a place where the people are genuinely kind and caring. They actively work with other shelters to try to take in more animals, and to help deliver supplies to other shelters and members of the community that need it the most. The initial training and opportunities for continued training help set AWLA apart from other shelters. Scheduling for volunteering and training are all done online, and there is always availability, and options to get involved with special events. Proud to be able to help a tiny bit with the amazing work they do!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at AWLA since October 2019 and I have been incredibly impressed with the staff, fosters, and fellow volunteers who care for all of the animals that come to the shelter. Until I volunteered I didn't realize quite how much AWLA does for our community. There are so many activities and events available to people! Thank you for everything you do, AWLA!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria! I feel like my life is more purposeful by volunteering at the shelter by supporting their mission on improving the lives of animals and also our community. As a volunteer, I appreciate that we receive training and support to be able to learn and participate in different activities in the shelter. I've made new friends both furry and human and am honored to be part of the AWLA Alexandria family.

1 Mark D.11

Board Member

Rating: 5

We adopted our dog, Minnie, from the AWLA. They also had an amazing family class where we learned some training basics. A wonderful facility and even better staff.

And a few years later, I joined the board. So happy to help.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with AWLA, I have had the privilege of working with cats, dogs, and small animals. What makes AWLA unique is the amount of training volunteers must undergo before ever interacting with the animals. We are taught about the animals’ body language, physical and emotional needs, and how best to take care of them. As a result of the careful attention paid to them, the vast majority of animals that come through the shelter are able to be adopted. I have also been a foster to a dog and cat. Currently, my foster cat is helping me get through these challenging times far more than I am helping him by providing a place to live. Thank you to AWLA for enriching so many animals’ and volunteers’ lives including mine!

1

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
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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 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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have volunteered as cat fosters with AWLA for 3+ years and “foster failed” (aka adopted) two cats as a result. We have fostered litters of kittens until they are old and large enough to be fixed and adopted (kittens always find homes quickly!) and a number of adult cats that needed special attention and/or socialization. The staff are always amazing communicators, they are flexible and understanding, and everyone obviously LOVES animals!
AWLA provides all the supplies, medications, advice and support needed for new amd experienced volunteers.

In 2016, we experienced a major medical situation in our family around the same time we fell in love with and adopted Tony, our now 17 year old cat. When I relayed to AWLA what was happening, and that we would need a break from fostering for a while, they gave us six months of Tony’s thyroid medication and waived his adoption fees. We have since resumed volunteering and fostering cats, recently caring for a terrified and unhealthy stray “Dusty” for five months. Tony personally fostered Dusty until he was well and secure enough to be adopted himself. (Tony and Dusty snuggle in photo.)

Our relationship and work with AWLA brings happiness, and wonderful cats, into our family! They are the BEST!

Steven Melinda P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer and occasional dog foster. I am continuously impressed with the professionalism, love and care shown by the entire employee and volunteer community to every animal who comes in the shelter doors. I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with such a great organization that goes way and above in its care for all!

rae3

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our dog Joshua from them earlier this year. He's a crazy hound and we love him. When he came to AWLA he was completely shut down, would sit and shake on his bed, terrified of the world and any noise. They patiently spent time with him, helped him get comfortable, learned how to coax him out of his shell. The result of all those hours of loving, hard work is that he's an awesome member of our family. He brings joy to us everyday. The best gift anyone could ask for. Thank you for making our Joshua whole.

Joan W.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first became acquainted with AWLA in 2004 when my husband and I were looking for a cat. We went back many times until the cutest kitty chose us by wrapping its paws around my arm. We were so impressed with the Alexandria shelter. It was so clean, it didn’t smell, the staff and volunteers were so knowledgeable and kind.
Fast forward...our wonderful cat “Miss Ella” is now fourteen years old and I have been a cat volunteer almost as long. We love AWLA!!! Joan W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer foster for over 2 years and am so happy to have found AWLA. I started with guinea pigs and bunnies but have moved to kittens. All the animals get such love and care. As a foster the staff has taught me so much about animal care and I am constantly amazed how they remember all the names and personalities.
I'm slowly building a stockpile of kitten supplies knowing that when I decide to adopt it will be from this shelter.

Abhi M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I fostered for the AWLA for about 3 years and handled about 6-8 animals. The process in which they take to get animals to the right homes is remarkable. They truly put their animals and fosters in a place to succeed and thrive. I loved working with them and wish them continued success as they save lives!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

...10 stars out of 5!
I have volunteered with shelters and rescues for the past 18 years. This shelter is by far the best place I have ever volunteered. The volunteers and staff are like a big family that has nothing but unconditional love for the animals there. I really have never experienced anything like this facility. I suprisingly never even found myself sad for the animals there because I knew that they were in the best place they could be for their given situation.
I was also extreamly surprised by the healthcare that the animals receive. All the animals are treated as if they are in loving home with a responsible loving owners. Anything they need they get. This will always be my absolute favorite shelter.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer, foster, adopter, and donor to this magnificent organization! It is an extremely professional run organization that makes a great difference in the lives of thousands of animals each year and helps to educate the public in many ways related to their own pets. I am thrilled to be a small part of and support their fine work.

doodledoo

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They cheer. They inspire, They answer questions while they are wolfing their lunches, working with animals, answering phones, cleaning up unmentionable messes, hauling animals, food, donations, supplies, paperwork, equipment, whatever needs attention, around the shelter, and are never short or make me feel my questions are stupid or unwelcome. They always thank volunteers for coming in. The Vola Lawson shelter is run with compassion and dedication to the cause-helping as many animals live the safest, happiest , most loved lives possible. By sharing the animals and their animal knowledge with Alexandria's public, they spread the wisdom and caring that make this community a place to be proud of. A place where living things, people as well as animals, have the chance to be loved and feel safe!

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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!!

Wendy S.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with and fostering dogs for over a year. I am continually impressed with the care the dogs receive while at the shelter.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Many years ago I adopted a wonderful dog from AWLA and it was a great experience. Gracie was my first dog, and AWLA was wonderful about providing helpful information. I now serve as a volunteer and occasional foster working with the dogs and continue to be impressed with the kindness and compassion the staff has towards all of the animals. Great job, AWLA!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great shelter! They go above and beyond for the animals and put their care first. Staff are compassionate and work very hard to help the animals fine homes. Highly recommend.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering at AWLA in August 2015. My dog had passed away a few months before, and we were not yet ready to adopt another one, so this was my way of spending time with animals. I am small in stature and occasionally found some animals difficult to work with. Whenever I gave feedback to that effect, staff members were incredibly supportive and responsive, working to make sure that I and other volunteers could work safely with appropriate animals. I have found my niche as a photo assistant and working special events, and have been working not just with dogs, but with ALL SORTS OF ANIMALS, including a variety of non-domestic animals (chickens, pigs), small mammals (rats, ferrets, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc), birds and cats. I have always had a bit of a cat phobia, so this has been an amazing opportunity to experience cats in a positive way. AWLA has always extended training to me when I expressed an interest in it (e.g., to improve my comfort level with cats and small mammals). I have grown tremendously in this work and cannot speak highly enough about the dedicated staff. Volunteering here is an incredible source of satisfaction -- and fun too!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AWLA is amazing! From the staff to the volunteers that work at the facility. I've not adopted from them but have been a big supporter of them for many years. I've donated items and funds to help them continually meet the needs of all the animals whether medically or rescuing from an abusive or horrific situation. They are top notch when it comes to community involvement. They are constantly striving to improve their methods and ways to provide more support and to help more animals in need. They deserve to be recognized because all that they do tend to go unnoticed. Don't underestimate the fact that they are a non-profit, they still manage to help hundreds of animals and bring joy and happiness to the lives of people and pets. The community thrives in love because they exist. Love you AWLA and staff!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Animal welfare league of Alexandria is top notch. Super polite and friendly/helpful staff. The visiting pet areas are extremely clean as well. With no bad oders like other places im sure we have all been to. They also keep people up to date with their animals etc through social media and actually replies to comments!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my kitty Rollins (aka Bella Amiga), a calico kitten, back in June of 2017. I had to "reserve" her 1 day and pick her up the next. The staff on the day I reserved her was friendly, helpful, and informative - to the point of warning me that the next day (Saturday) was usually a crazy day at the shelter and it would be best to get there early. I wasn't able to and by the time I got there the place was noisy and jammed with people (all of whom loved pets so it was a wonderful atmosphere). I was concerned about the number of people and a little worried about getting lost in the crowd. However, the staff and volunteers were (again) very polite and helpful and the system they had in place worked well. My turn came and the staff member went over Amiga's health history with me and was very attentive and helpful. Then I got to take Amiga home with me! Well worth the wait ...

I was very impressed with the shelter and the staff and how they managed to keep order in the middle of a busy chaotic day. They do a wonderful job! Following them on facebook it's obvious how much they love "their" animals and care for them.

Martina M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I foster kittens for AWLA and they are a great organization. They have a robust foster care program which allows them to rescue more animals. I foster momma cats with unweaned kittens for AWLA. This allows the momma cat to care for her kittens in a quiet home environment instead of at the shelter. When the kittens are weaned, the momma cat gets spayed and finds her forever home. The kittens stay in foster care until they are old enough to be spayed and neutered – then they go up for adoption. Its great!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted a dog and it was the most painless and least frustrating experience of any shelter I’ve ever dealt with and my dog is the best puppy I’ve ever had! Love the animal welfare league of Alexandria!!

Meg S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted Kugel the day after we returned from our anniversary, 2 years ago as of next week. We were very impressed with the facility, as each animal had their own indoor/outdoor space, a toy and somewhere to lie down, and when we met the dogs they were brought into a large playroom for us to socialize with. The adoption process was easy and smooth, and when we said goodbye it was clear that everyone was fond of our dog and she was of them. After seeing their facility and learning about their level of care for the animals they have, we've donated items to them on several occasions. After we adopted, there were some issues with the dog (for example, she wasn't spayed even though we thought she was) and Alexandria stepped up to take care of everything at no cost to us.

I thank the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria for bringing our "Little Bratchild" into our lives. Kugel is a hyperactive ball of affection. She has been my constant companion through my husband's deployments and I do not think I could have managed without her. She demands snuggles every night and every morning, and follows us through the house wherever we go. She barks at us to come upstairs when it's "bedtime." She is so full of personality in a way I never thought an animal could be. All of that is thanks to the Animal Welfare League for keeping her safe and cared for until we could meet her and bring her home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with the AWLA for 5 years and cannot say enough good things about this sanctuary for animals. All three of our resident cats were adopted from AWLA; we also participate in the fosters program. Volunteering and fostering there I get to see close up how much this shelter truly cares for the animals in its care. They go the extra mile to help each animal find its forever home and work at making each animal as comfortable as possible until that time. I am proud to have this awesome facility in my community!

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!