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. 

Finding a Pet Care Provider

Finding a Pet Care Provider
 
Hundreds of pet-sitting, dog-walking and pet care providers serve Northern Virginia. The League has compiled the following useful tips to help pet owners find the right service for their companion animal.
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS)
www.petsitters.org 
1.800.296.PETS
NAPPS is a resource to help pet owners locate pet sitters.
Northern Virginia Pet Sitters Network (NVPSN)
www.novapetsitters.com
NVPSN maintains a membership list of professional pet sitters in the Northern Virginia area. NVPSN is a non-profit organization that donates its annual net revenue to local animal welfare groups.
MetroPets Online
www.metropets.org
MetroPets Online promotes the adoption of homeless animals and the well-being of companion animals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. They provide an online directory of organizations and services including pet sitters and dog walkers. 
Tips on Selecting a Pet Sitter/Dog Walker
Professional pet sitters and dog walkers should be bonded and insured. When considering a pet sitter/dog walker, ask for references and expect an initial visit to cover introductions and details including the location of leashes, food, etc. You will be expected to give a copy of your key. The pet sitter should ask you for veterinary information including proof that your pets are up to date on vaccinations. 
Important Questions to Ask a Pet Sitter/Dog Walker
How long have you been in business?
Are you bonded and insured?
Are you a member of Pet Sitters International? National Association of Professional Pet Sitters? Better Business Bureau? (If so, check their records). 
Do you have your own pets? 
Can you give me three client referrals?
How long will you sit/walk my dog? Do you provide additional walks or play time for an extra fee?
Will there be other dogs or animals with the walker/sitter?
When you are unable to come, who is your back-up?
Will you ever send anyone to my home whom I haven’t met?
What types of animals do you typically care for? Which do you prefer?
What geographical area do you serve?
Download: Information for My Pet Sitter
This documents organizes all important phone numbers and contact information in one place for your pet sitter. 

Hundreds of pet-sitting, dog-walking and pet care providers serve Northern Virginia. The League has compiled the following useful tips to help pet owners find the right service for their companion animal.

National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS)

www.petsitters.org

NAPPS is a resource to help pet owners locate pet sitters.

Northern Virginia Pet Sitters Network (NVPSN)

www.novapetsitters.com

NVPSN maintains a membership list of professional pet sitters in the Northern Virginia area. NVPSN is a non-profit organization that donates its annual net revenue to local animal welfare groups.

MetroPets Online

www.metropets.org

MetroPets Online promotes the adoption of homeless animals and the well-being of companion animals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. They provide an online directory of organizations and services including pet sitters and dog walkers. 

Tips on Selecting a Pet Sitter/Dog Walker

Professional pet sitters and dog walkers should be bonded and insured. When considering a pet sitter/dog walker, ask for references and expect an initial visit to cover introductions and details including the location of leashes, food, etc. You will be expected to give a copy of your key. The pet sitter should ask you for veterinary information including proof that your pets are up to date on vaccinations. 

Important Questions to Ask a Pet Sitter/Dog Walker

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Are you bonded and insured?
  • Are you a member of Pet Sitters International? National Association of Professional Pet Sitters? Better Business Bureau? (If so, check their records). 
  • Do you have your own pets? 
  • Can you give me three client referrals?
  • How long will you sit/walk my dog? Do you provide additional walks or play time for an extra fee?
  • Will there be other dogs or animals with the walker/sitter?
  • When you are unable to come, who is your back-up?
  • Will you ever send anyone to my home whom I haven’t met?
  • What types of animals do you typically care for? Which do you prefer?
  • What geographical area do you serve?