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. 

Alexandria Animal Watch

The following are recent calls for service involving the League’s Animal Control Officers.

The Cat and the Bat

On March 11, the League’s on-call Emergency Service Technician responded to a call for service in the 5800 block of Edsall Road. The caller reported that a bat flew into her apartment and was caught and injured by her cat. Without touching the bat, the caller was able to cover the bat with a box and placed it outside of the apartment.

The EST arrived and located the bat, which was severely injured. The bat was transported back to the shelter where it was humanely euthanized due to its injuries and for the purposes of rabies testing.
The EST called the resident to confirm that the bat had been removed and would be tested for rabies. The caller stated that her cat has had a rabies vaccination in the past, but it may not be current. The EST advised the caller to check her records and/or call her veterinarian, and if not current, her cat should be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Raccoon Season

Animal Control has seen an increase in the number of calls for service regarding raccoons and would like to remind everyone that it is mating season for many species of wildlife. As the weather gets warmer, residents can expect so see and hear more activity and should not be alarmed if raccoons or other wild animals are spotted during daylight hours. Animal Control urges residents to keep all pets indoors, especially at night, or to make sure animals are leashed or supervised when outside. Animal Control will not remove any species of native wildlife that has not entered a living space, unless it is sick, injured, or posing a safety threat.

Hawk Drops in for Visit

On March 5, a juvenile red-tailed hawk became trapped inside a porch in the 3600 block of Orlando Place. The residents of the home reported that the hawk flew through the screened-in porch attached to their home and would not leave.
An Animal Control Officer arrived on the scene and was able to successfully coax the bird out through the porch door. The hawk was uninjured and flew away once it was outside.

Squirrel in Del Ray Apartment

On March 3, Animal Control Officer Jewel was approached by a citizen on the street who reported that a squirrel was loose inside an apartment in the 2400 block of Mt. Vernon Avenue. The citizen was on her way to purchase a trap from a store when she noticed the Animal Control Van parked on the street.

ACO Jewel delivered a humane trap to the apartment and set it to capture the squirrel. Jewel provided the landlord with instructions for use and how to release the squirrel once trapped. On March 4, ACO Jewel called the tenants of the apartment, who reported that the squirrel was still loose but they had not seen or heard it in some time. However, the squirrel had eaten the tenants’ fruit in the kitchen. ACO Jewel advised the tenants to keep the trap and Animal Control will check back periodically for updates.