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2017 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

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.

Wendy S.3

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!

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!

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!