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!


King_Web Kingston still needs a home

Kingston came to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) through an animal cruelty case. His companion, Queen (now Sunny), and their pups (Everest, Olympus, and Himalaya), were rehabilitated by the AWLA and have found new homes. Now it’s King’s turn!



With the help of AWLA staff and our friends at Fur-Get Me Not  dog training, Kingston has been hard at work learning manners and healthy ways to keep his active mind occupied. In the video above, you can see Kingston exercising his olfactory talents through Nose Work training, which helps build confidence and focus. The AWLA believes King will thrive with an owner who has dog experience, and Betsy at Fur-Get Me Not has generously offered to donate training classes to the lucky person who adopts King, so he can continue to learn and progress. King is a smart, friendly, active dog who has so much to give, and we can’t wait to see him settle into a forever home.


Anyone interested in adopting Kingston should contact us at (703) 746-4774 to set up a time to meet with King and talk to the staff members who have been working closely with him since his arrival.







King_Web Kingston still needs a home - Kingston came to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) through an animal cruelty case. His companion, Queen (now Sunny), and their pups (Everest, Olympus, and Himalaya), were rehabilitated by the AWLA and have found new homes. Now it’s King’s turn!     With the help of AWLA staff and our friends at Fur-Get Me […]
Simon and Garfunkel_phixr Simon and Garfunkel – Leapin’ Lizards! - At the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, we help all animals, not just dogs and cats! The two residents who have been waiting for their new homes the longest are lizards named Simon and Garfunkel.   This pair can’t sing you any folk tunes, but they can be amazing pets. Simon and Garfunkel are green anoles, and they’re […]
Clear the Shelters - Search Animals Athena – Best for Last - We are pleased to report that Athena was adopted today 8/16/15.  Yesterday, we found homes for all of our dogs during #Cleartheshelters except for Athena – our longest resident at the shelter.  It was heartbreaking to see her alone among all the empty kennels.  However, wonderful news!  A couple came in today and adopted her!  […]
grumpy-cat-shelley-castle-photography-631_phixr Sisi and Charlie - Meet Sisi and Charlie – click to read their story and see photos. Thanks for your support!
20150622_134228-1 (2)_phixr Update on Everest - Update 8/34/15: Everest has been adopted!!! The story of Everest and his family has inspired over 170 donors to donate close to $15,000 to Sarah’s Fund. Everest, his two siblings, mother, and father were rescued from neglect by our Animal Control Officers and brought to the shelter. Everest and his brother and sister were so thin […]
Sisi 2_phixr Sisi - Meet Sisi Jump to the story of Sisi and Charlie.
Potter (2)_phixr 8 Cats Rescued from Truck - The Animal Welfare League of Alexandriarecently rescued eight cats that were abandoned in a truck for at least five days without food or water.  These kitties were in terrible shape when our Animal Control Officers responded to the scene.  They were all dehydrated and very thin. Our veterinarian and staff have been caring for them […]
Paisley_phixr Paisley - Meet Paisley! Paisley’s story is one that teaches us how a little time and patience can help even the shyest little cat show his true colors! Paisley came to the AWLA as an extremely frightened little cat, and his previous owners explained that while he loved their cat and dogs, he was terrified of the […]
Dublin (featured) - adopt me! Meet Dublin! - Dublin has been adopted!  In January, a concerned citizen called the Alexandria Police Department to report that a dog had been tied outside all day. Our Animal Services team responded to the call and found Dublin, an 11-year old Cocker Spaniel that was in need of medical attention. Dublin’s owners decided to surrender him to […]
TW-biscuit Meet Biscuit! - Two months ago, Biscuit, a beautiful one and a half year old domestic short hair, arrived at VCA Alexandria in a lot of pain. His owners told the veterinarian on staff that he had been “acting painful”, and hadn’t been eating for several days. When the veterinarian examined Biscuit, it was clear that he had a […]
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 […]


If you are interested in helping animals like these, please click Donate and make a donation and make a difference.

Click here to see other adoptable dogs, cats, and small animals.