About the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Helping Animals, Supporting Community
Since 1946, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria has been a resource for our community and a shelter for homeless animals. Through adoptions, spay and neuter assistance, education and community service and outreach, the League plays a key role in promoting responsible pet care across Northern Virginia. The League has contracted with the City of Alexandria to provide animal care, control and sheltering services since 1989. As part of our contract with the City, we operate the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, an open-admission facility accepting any and all animals brought to us. We have made a commitment that if an animal is in need, we will provide the care that every animal so richly deserves. 
We place more than 1,300 companion animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, iguanas, chinchillas and many more, in permanent, loving homes each year. An additional 300 stray pets are reunited with their owners through the League annually. Our specially-trained staff also assist area wildlife that have been injured or are in distress—with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into their natural habitat or transferring them to licensed wildlife rehabilitators for care and eventual release. 
The League has a vibrant volunteer corps of 200 animal lovers who support our 40+ full and part-time professional staff. In everything we do, League staff and volunteers demonstrate that love and compassion are just as important as food and water for the animals in our care. 

Job Opportunities

The League offers opportunities for applicants interested in the profession of animal sheltering.  Please check this page frequently for open positions and apply to join our team of compassionate animal care professionals.


The Animal Control Officer will be responsible for enforcing all state and local laws pertaining to the welfare and control of all animals in the City of Alexandria, including the investigation of all animal complaints and the resolution of such cases through education and voluntary compliance, or legal action.

Essential job functions include:

  • Investigating and resolving all complaints of cruelty to animals in the City of Alexandria in a prompt and efficient manner
  • Enforcing all state and city laws pertaining to the humane care and control of animals
  • Effectively working with attorneys, police officials, veterinarians, and others to resolve case of animal abuse and neglect
  • Ensuring that everything legally possible and prudent has been done to improve the quality of life for the animal involved, alleviate its suffering, and to educate or take appropriate legal action with the animal’s custodian when answering a call
  • Conducting follow-up with citizens, as appropriate, to ensure continuing compliance with laws and proper animal care; inspecting and issuing all permits indicated by law
  • Complying with all aspects of the rabies control program
  • Ensuring that animals are captured and transported as humanely and comfortably as possible and that emergency first aid and/or prompt veterinary care is rendered, if appropriate
  • Picking up and disposing of dead animals on public, non-highway, roads within the City of Alexandria
  • Humanely euthanizing animals when necessary
  • Properly maintaining individual City animal control vehicles, ensuring that vehicles are supplied with all necessary equipment and are maintained in a sanitary manner, and verify if inspections are current
  • Maintaining a polite, professional, and informative demeanor for other staff members, veterinarians, police department officials, attorneys, representatives from other agencies, and the general public
  • Administrative duties and other duties as assigned to support the League’s team effort

Required: Candidates must be at least 21 years old; have a high school diploma or equivalent; have a proven ability to handle multiple tasks in a busy workplace environment; have the ability to accurately perform basic mathematical calculations; have interest in the humane care and treatment of animals; have a proven ability to interact with others in a positive and friendly manner; have the ability to learn State code and City ordinances; have the ability to attain certification as a euthanasia technician within the first six months of employment; have the ability to pass the state’s Animal Control Basic Course within two years of appointment; have the ability to pass course in chemical immobilization techniques within one year of employment; have the ability to receive rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Preferred: Training and/or experience in a law enforcement field; training and/or experience in an animal care field. Spanish or other second languages highly desirable.

Working Conditions: The Animal Control Officer will work indoors in a high noise, air-conditioned/heated building; outdoors at the shelter; on-location for various activities. On-call hours will be required and situations may sometimes involve unsafe and uncomfortable conditions where exposure to environmental factors, such as human or animal violence, disease, traffic, wetness, dust, or equipment and machinery pose a risk of injury. The job includes use of PC, laser printer, copy machine, fax machine, telephone, animal control van, and various animal control equipment. Work hours will vary, with evening, weekend, and holiday hours required. Continuing education is required.

Compensation: The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria offers an excellent benefits package and competitive compensation. The AWLA provides health care, dental, and vision coverage, a retirement plan, and additional employee benefits. This is a non-exempt position and salary will be commensurate with experience.

To Apply: email your cover letter, resume, and application (see link below) to careers@AlexandriaAnimals.org with the subject line “Animal Control Officer”

This posting will remain open until the position has been filled.

Animal Care Technician – FULL TIME

Animal Care Technician – PART TIME

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is seeking a part-time Animal Care Technician, who will be responsible for cleaning, medicating, feeding, caring for, and showing the utmost compassion for all of the animals at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter. Applicants should have the ability to remain positive and calm in stressful situations, and feel rewarded by helping animals in need.

Required: Applicants should have a proven ability to handle multiple tasks in a busy, physically-demanding workplace environment; basic computer proficiency; a genuine compassion for all animals, regardless of their condition; ability to routinely lift 50-75 pounds; a desire to learn and ability to stay open-minded. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, must be able to pass a background check, and must be willing to receive the complete Rabies Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.

Preferred: Applicants should have prior experience in animal care or sheltering.

Education/Training: Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

The Animal Care Technician will work indoors in a high-noise, air-conditioned/heated building, outdoors at the shelter, or at various locations. Weekend and holiday hours are required. This is a non-exempt position.

To apply, please submit your cover letter, resume, and application (see link below) to Careers@AlexandriaAnimals.org with the subject line “Full Time -Animal Care Technician” or “Part Time -Animal Care Technician” or “Full Time and Part Time – Animal Care Technician”.

Download our Application for Employment