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. 

Animal Services

Since 1989, the AWLA has contracted with the City of Alexandria to provide animal care and control services for City residents. Whether patrolling dog parks, responding to citizen’s calls or caring for animals as part of our safekeeping program, the League’s animal control officers handle every case with balanced judgment and concern for the animals and people involved.

Every month, our animal control officers respond to more than 200 calls for service. These calls include every possible animal concern ranging from dogs barking and running at large to wildlife that have become trapped inside residents’ homes to cruelty investigations and animal seizures. The League’s animal control officers are trained to handle domestic pets and wildlife in distress. If you think that a domestic or wild animal is in distress, please call the League at 703-746-4774 or email animalcontrol@AlexandriaAnimals.org.

In addition to responding to citizens’ calls for service, animal control also manages the following activities:

  • Dog and cat licensing for City residents
  • Dog park patrol
  • Pet store permits
  • Safekeeping of companion animals
  • Bite reports and quarantine within the City
  • Rabies testing for animals suspected to carry the virus