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. 

Featured Animal

Check out our featured pets and wildlife below, and go on to read our previously-featured blogs at the bottom, too!


Slade_featured Slade

Another Thankful Animal

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is continuing our appreciation of our supporters with the “Month of Thankful Animals” by telling Slade’s story.

In September, Slade, a six-month-old, female kitten, was found in the middle of a road in Alexandria. She was very scared and obviously disoriented. The good Samaritan who found her brought her to the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter. Our veterinarian, Dr.Kaci Angelone, examined her and discovered that both her eyes were severely infected and that she was blind, in pain and very underweight. Dr. Angelone started her on antibiotics and pain medicine. Slade’s pain started to diminish and she put on weight. Unfortunately, her eyes did not improve. It was decided that the best option for her long-term recovery was to have both of her eyes removed. Dr. Elton Vyfhuis at Paws, Purrs and Exotics Animal Hospital performed the surgery. Slade then went into foster care to recover. She will be available for adoption soon.


Slade is completely blind; however, it is difficult to tell. Watch her play with this toy by using her senses of hearing, touch and smell to track the toy… it is as if she actually “sees” it!

Slade’s surgery, like the treatment of so many of the sick and injured animals we take in at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, was made possible by generous donations to us through Sarah’s Fund.

Slade – Playing.

Thank you for your donation to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

P.S.: We will be closed on Christmas Day. However, we are again inviting our fellow animal lovers to join us on this holiday to prepare toys/treats for each of the shelter animals. Come to the animal shelter at 4101 Eisenhower Ave. from 12 to 1 p.m. on Christmas Day. Please bring several new kongs (toys to fill with treats – any size) and/or a bag of toilet paper tubes, and an unopened bag of dog treats (such as Zuke’s), cat treats or vegetables.




Slade_featured Slade - Another Thankful Animal   The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is continuing our appreciation of our supporters with the “Month of Thankful Animals” by telling Slade’s story. In September, Slade, a six-month-old, female kitten, was found in the middle of a road in Alexandria. She was very scared and obviously disoriented. The good Samaritan […]
luna2_phixr Luna’s Jump - Luna is a one-year-old spayed female indoor cat who jumped out of a first floor balcony two days before Thanksgiving and severely fractured her leg. The fracture was so severe that amputation was the best treatment. Luna went to Paws, Purrs, and Exotics for the amputation of her fractured leg. Even though Luna didn’t land on all four paws […]
mable Mable’s Journey - A few months ago, several dogs were transferred to the AWLA by the Humane Society of the United States. The dogs had been rescued from hoarding case in rural Mississippi, and had spent most, if not all, of their lives living outdoors. Mable was one of the dogs we received as a part this rescue. When […]
twinkie_phixr Twinkie - Twinkie is as sweet as can be…maybe even sweeter than the delicious dessert! She has beautiful green eyes that glow just as vibrantly as her spectacular personality; Twinkie doesn’t need to resort to meowing to get the attention she deserves. This graceful kitty is not just a treat for the eyes, she is softer and […]
FOT2549 (1)_phixr_phixr Shaggy Will Get Surgery - Shaggy needs surgery to repair her bad heart.  She has the same condition as little Peking who recently had surgery and has fully recovered.  Shaggy had her original electrocardiogram at Del Ray Veterinary Clinic and will  have her surgery at Chesapeake Veterinary Cardiology Clinic.  Care for our shelter animals with severe medical problems is made possible […]
marilynphixr Marilyn’s Life Has Changed - From this life to this! Marilyn is one of the eleven dogs that we now have that were rescued by HSUS from a horrible situation in Mississippi. These dogs were neglected and suffered from multiple medical issues. When Marilyn arrived at AWLA, she was so frightened that she had been too scared to use the […]
shelley-castle-photography-zara-grad-awla-25_phixr Zara – Joins the Police Department - Dog from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Joins the Police Department Shelter Dog to become a Police Canine this Week (Vote for Zara HERE) ALEXANDRIA, Va.—A young female Belgian Malinois, turned into the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) by her owner in September 2013, will graduate from the Alexandria Police Department’s Basic K-9 […]
Kittens-Story_feature Rescued Kittens - AWLA saves kittens from fire truck! Early this afternoon, a team of Alexandria firefighters had responded to a service call in a fire truck that they had picked up from the mechanic the day before. After the call, as is the procedure, one of the firefighters went to remove the wheel stop and discovered a […]
Peking-2_featured Puppy Peking -   7/14/14 Update: You all have helped raise the funds needed for us to schedule Peking’s life saving heart surgery! The surgeons could only give us an estimate for her surgery and predicted that it may be more especially with her aftercare – but from the amount of support we have received, we are confident […]
xena Xena - With a name like Xena, it’s understandable if the term ‘Warrior Princess’ pops into your mind. But while our Xena might be a princess, she is the furthest away from a ‘warrior’ that you can get! This 5 year old Boxer mix loves nothing more than a day filled with rawhides and snuggles, and will […]


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