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

DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT (Full Time) – Open until full

Provides support to the Development department in, but not limited to, donation processing, accounting reports, event/campaign coordination and execution, and the department’s communication efforts. Responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the donor database. Participates in Development and Fundraising efforts to increase donor support.


Admin and Data Entry:

  1. Ensure all gifts are processed and acknowledged
    1. Prepare and process all gifts received for entry into the donor database
    2. Record monetary and in-kind donations made at the shelter, by mail or through the League’s website
    3. Securely track, count and organize cash and checks in preparation of bank deposits
    4. Process credit card gifts and manage receipts
    5. Maintain donor records in an accurate and timely manner
    6. Correct and update donor records as necessary
    7. Assist Development staff with tracking matching gift contributions
    8. Prepare acknowledgement letters for signature
  2. Work with finance to securely track, count and organize the daily gift intake in preparation for bank deposits
  3. Assist with mailing list additions, revisions, and deletions
  4. Direct volunteers and interns in the office and at events
  5. Maintains inventory for Development and orders supplies
  6. Take an active role as a representative for the Development department and AWLA at in-house and off-site events




  1. Assist with the planning of events and fundraising campaigns
    1. Generate reports, mailing lists, etc
    2. Maintain RSVP lists, registration, etc
    3. Create name badges, signs, etc for use in events
  2. Assist with the execution of events and fundraising campaigns
    1. Setup and break down
    2. Direct volunteers
    3. Communicate with donors
    4. Troubleshoot


  1. Maintain AWLA’s Amazon Wish List
  2. Assist with the creation of content for AWLA’s website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media
  1. Update content for social media
  2. Support efforts to implement the AWLA strategic communications plan
  1. Assist with Direct Mail, newsletters and email fundraising efforts



  1. Provide support to the League’s team effort including, but not limited to:
    1. Communicate regularly with supervisors to ensure that they are aware of any issues pertinent to their areas of responsibility
    2. Participate in staff meetings to share ideas and suggestions
    3. Perform other duties as requested to ensure the internal and external well being of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
    4. Understand each Department role within overall AWLA mission



  1. Required:
    1. Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  1. Understanding that even minor errors may have dramatic effects on data integrity
    1. Experience with data entry
    2. Strong technical aptitude and working familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Word and Excel
  1. Ability to learn Web content management system, design software, WordPress blog, and Constant Contact email program
    1. Strong writing and editing skills
    2. Strong communication skills
    3. Ability to plan and execute events and fundraising campaigns
    4. Familiarity with Facebook, Twitter and other social media
  1. Outgoing; able to work with staff, volunteers, and the public to help create interesting social media content
    1. Proven ability to handle multiple tasks in a busy workplace environment
    2. Professional demeanor
  1. Maintain a professional appearance
  2. Positive attitude
  • Comfortable speaking to all members of the public and the ability to develop connections with shelter clients and donors
    1. Strong customer service skills and the ability to maintain a professional appearance and demeanor at all times
    2. Ability to perform basic mathematical calculations
    3. Ability to manage sensitive and confidential information
    4. Ability to exercise discretion and independent judgment
    5. Understanding of the humane care and treatment of animals


  1. Education/Training:
    1. High school diploma, Associate’s preferred


  1. Desired:
    1. Donor database experience (Donor Perfect preferred)
    2. Event planning experience
    3. Constant Contact experience
    4. Internet research skills
    5. Creativity
    6. Experience with animals



  1. Indoors in air-conditioned/heated office, outdoors at shelter or on-location for various events.
    1. This highly visible position requires tact and excellent customer service skills
  2. Equipment Use:
  3. Includes use of PC, laser printer, copy machine, fax machine, and telephone
  4. Work Hours:
    1. Regular work hours are Monday to Friday, 9a.m. to 5p.m.
    2. Occasional evening and weekend hours will be required
  5. Constant interaction with new people
  1. Regular exposure to animals


Submit your cover letter, resume, and application (see link below) to Careers@AlexandriaAnimals.org with the subject line “Development Assistant”.




JOB SUMMARY:  The Director of Operations is responsible for the overall management of animal care.  The Director of Operations creates and oversees the implementation of policies and procedures for the care of all the shelter animals to ensure they have an excellent quality of life while they are the shelter.  The Director of Operations is responsible for ensuring that animals are cared for following national best practices, including the most modern cleaning techniques.  He/she works closely with the Shelter veterinarian to implement veterinary protocols and coordinate veterinary care for any sick/injured animals and spay/neuter of shelter animals before they are adopted.  The Director of Operations works to ensure our resources are used effectively and efficiently to help as many animals per year as possible.  He/she is committed to bringing in animals from other shelters and rescue groups and forming strong relationships with these outside agencies to provide them with consistent and ongoing support.  The Director of Operations works to find ways to reduce length of stay of shelter animals as much as possible by implementing quality of life improvement initiatives, “fast tracking”, expanded options for spay/neuter and working closely with the volunteer manager to engage volunteers in all aspects of animal care. He/she is responsible for managing the shelter’s database and coordinating with the City on building maintenance issues.


Animal Care Oversight:

  1. Manage the Animal Care Division in an efficient and professional manner, and in compliance with League policies
  2. Purchase inventory and supplies and control the use of these supplies.  Research options for decreasing expenses while ensuring staff have all equipment necessary to perform their work.
  3. Maintain and distribute timely, accurate and complete records and reports, as required by regulatory entities and the League
  4. Develop and submit division budget and keep division expenditures within budget
  5. Ensure that division policies procedures, and guidelines are updated, in compliance with relevant regulations and national standards
  6. Be able to create narrative and statistical monthly reports of division activities
  7. Ensure adherence to financial policies and procedures
  8. Budget adherence
  9. Timely approval and submitting of departmental invoices
  10. Supervise, mentor, and evaluate subordinates, including handling performance issues effectively

Animal Care:

  1. Coordinate with veterinarian and veterinary staff/volunteers to ensure animals are receiving immediate and appropriate veterinary care and appropriate protocols are in place to prevent outbreak of disease
  2. Supervise animal care staff to ensure animals are fed, cleaned, handled, and medicated per protocols
  3. Supervise transfer coordinator to ensure appropriate animals and numbers of animals are transferred in from other rescue groups to assist with as many animals as resources provide
  4. Work closely with foster care coordinator to ensure appropriate foster placements are available for shelter animals in need
  5. Work closely with volunteer manager to ensure volunteers are integrated successfully with the care of animals including helping to develop strong staff/volunteer relationships
  6. Coordinate feedback on animal behavior/medical conditions, ensure all options are considered before a euthanasia decision is made.  Obtain sign offs from appropriate staff, including executive director, for euthanasia.  Ensure animal care staff perform euthanasias are humanely and compassionately.

Relationship Building

  1. Develop strong relationships with outside shelters and rescue organizations (especially those within the region and Virginia) to provide ongoing support including placement of animals and support on best practices
  2. Assist with the development and implementation of at least two trainings a year on animal care for shelter staff that are open to the rest of the region
  3. Create strong relationships with experts in animal care and sheltering and utilize these resources to improve shelter care and assist other shelters
  4. Participate in regional, collaboration meetings


  1. Meet with Executive Director on a regular basis to provide updates
  2. Coordinate with the Executive Director to publicize our work and successes


  1. Required:
    1. A college degree
    2. Minimum of three years of experience working with animals
    3. Minimum of three years of supervisory / management experience
    4. Proven experience handling performance issues utilizing progressive discipline principles
    5. Demonstrated knowledge of State and municipal codes and ordinances
    6. Current Virginia state driver’s license and insurable driving record
    7. Ability to receive rabies prophylaxis
  2. Preferred:
    1. Experience working in an animal shelter setting and/or animal control


  1. Indoors in a high noise air-conditioned/heated building, outdoors at shelter,  or at various locations depending on nature of emergencies
    1. When on call situations may involve sometimes 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
  2. Equipment use:
  1. Includes use of PC, laser printer, copy machine, fax machine, telephone, power washer, cleaning supplies, animal control van
  1. Work hours:
  1. Work hours will vary, and evening, weekend, and holiday hours may be required based on need
  2. Access by cell phone for emergencies and be on-call at times


A successful candidate must be able to:

  1. Maintain a polite, professional, and informative demeanor with staff members, volunteers, veterinarians, police department officials, attorneys, representatives from other agencies, and the general public
  2. Ability to be flexible and is comfortable with change
  3. Strong ability to multi-task
  4. Handle exposure to animals, cleaning chemicals, fumes, dust, animal feces, bites, scratches
  5. Lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
  6. See close up, distance and have the ability to adjust focus and have normal depth and peripheral vision
  7. Enter data in a computer database system and maintain accurate records
  8. Ability to approve euthanasia of animals when needed
  9. Work alone with minimal supervision
  10. Resolve conflicts successfully
  11. Communicate clearly, including excellent writing skills and an ability to speak in public.


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 an exempt position with a starting salary of $50,000 annually. Salary will be commensurate with experience


This position description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee occupying this position.  Employees will be required to follow any other job related duties required by their supervisor.  This document does not create an employment contract implied or otherwise, other than an “at-will” relationship.



Submit your cover letter, resume, and application (see link below) to Careers@AlexandriaAnimals.org with the subject line “Director of Operations”.


The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is seeking a full time Volunteer Manager wo who will be responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and managing the Volunteer Program for activities internal and external to the shelter. The manager handles recruiting, training, and supervising volunteers; maintaining volunteer records, coordinating volunteer schedules, regularly preparing department reports, and adhering to the program’s budget.

 Required: Applicants should have strong interpersonal and communication skills, including experience with conflict management; have a friendly, welcoming and engaging personality; have a proven ability to interact effectively with a wide range of individuals; experience multi-tasking and effectively managing multiple projects;  independent judgment and discretion; an interest in animals and basic understanding of their care; proficient in Windows applications, including Word and Excel.

Preferred:  Three or more years of experience planning, implementing, and directing volunteer related programs in a municipal government or nonprofit environment; experience working/volunteering in an animal sheltering; experience working with animals.

Education/Background:   Bachelor’s degree.  A Proven track record of four years of coordination/administrative experience in a related field with a high school diploma will be considered.  Minimum of two years of supervisory and/or management experience required.

To apply, please submit your cover letter, resume, and application (see link below) to Careers@AlexandriaAnimals.org with the subject line “Volunteer Manager”.  Position open until 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