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. 

 

Behavior and Training Help

Behavior and Training Resources
As a community resource, the League offers a variety of assistance for all pet owners. Regardless of how your companion animal entered your life (adopted, purchased or wandered…), League staff members are happy to help you understand pet behaviors and resolve potential pet-related challenges.
Pet Behavior Assistance
The League’s trained staff members have a wealth of experience handling just about every pet-related concern. Please call 703.746.4774 and ask to speak to a staff member about a pet behavior concern or email Abbie Hubbard, the League’s Behavior and Training Manager at ahubbard@alexandriaanimals.org
League staff members are glad to discuss your concerns and potential ways to work with your pet to resolve them. The League commonly receives inquiries regarding:
Unwanted cat behaviors: furniture scratching, marking, not using the litterbox and aggression toward other pets and/or people
Unwanted dog behaviors: excessive barking, separation anxiety, housetraining problems, hyperactivity and aggression toward other pets and/or people.
Questions regarding other pets: introducing new pets into the home, appropriate care and housing for small animals (such as rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and others) and providing environmental enrichment for less-common animal companions.
Helpful Handouts
The League has compiled information in response to the more common questions we hear. Please click below for more information on the following:
Cat Behavior
Cat Introductions
Cat Scratching
Litterbox Concerns
Play with Your Cat
Supplies for a New Cat
Dog Behavior
Crate Training Your Dog
Crating Concerns
Dog Park Basics
Dog Park Misconceptions and Alternatives
Shy or Fearful Dogs
Supplies for a New Dog
Charm School
The League offers Charm School for all dogs adopted from our shelter. Charm School gives dogs and their adopters four weeks of complimentary lessons using positive reinforcement to reward wanted behaviors (such as sit, stay, down and loose leash walking). If you and your AWLA graduate would like to join Charm School, please contact Abbie Hubbard, Behavior and Training Manager at ahubbard@alexandriaanimals.org or 703.746.4774.

As a community resource, the League offers a variety of assistance for all pet owners. Regardless of how your companion animal entered your life (adopted, purchased or wandered…), League staff members are happy to help you understand pet behaviors and resolve potential pet-related challenges.

Pet Behavior Assistance

The League’s trained staff members have a wealth of experience handling just about every pet-related concern. Please call 703-746-5505 and ask to speak to a staff member about a pet behavior concern or email the League’s Behavior and Training Department at training@AlexandriaAnimals.org

League staff members are glad to discuss your concerns and potential ways to work with your pet to resolve them. The League commonly receives inquiries regarding:

  • Unwanted cat behaviors: furniture scratching, marking, not using the litterbox and aggression toward other pets and/or people
  • Unwanted dog behaviors: excessive barking, separation anxiety, housetraining problems, hyperactivity and aggression toward other pets and/or people.
  • Questions regarding other pets: introducing new pets into the home, appropriate care and housing for small animals (such as rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and others) and providing environmental enrichment for less-common animal companions.

Helpful Handouts

The League has compiled information in response to the more common questions we hear. Please click below for more information on the following:

Cat Behavior

Dog Behavior

 

Charm School

Charm School logoThe League offers Charm School for all dogs adopted from our shelter. Charm School gives dogs and their adopters four complimentary lessons of how to use positive reinforcement to reward wanted behaviors (such as sit, stay, down and loose leash walking). If you and your canine companion would like to join Charm School, please contact the Behavior and Training Department at training@AlexandriaAnimals.org or 703-746-5505.

View the November Charm School Calendar.

Click here for Charm School FAQs and class descriptions.