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. 


City Code requires all dogs and cats over the age of four months to be licensed, and requires each owner to obtain a license within 30 days of acquiring the pet or moving it into the City of Alexandria. 

License Your Pet

  • Online: Visit http://www.petdata.com/for-pet-owners/alx  All major credit cards are accepted, and a small convenience fee will apply per transaction.
  • By Mail: Send required documentation and checks to the City in care of its third-party processor:
    City of Alexandria Animal Licensing
    ℅ PetData
    PO Box 141929
    Irving, TX 75014-1929
  • In Person: Visit the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter at 4101 Eisenhower Ave.

For more information about animal licensing in the City of Alexandria, visit http://www.petdata.com/for-pet-owners/alx or call toll-free 855-884-9553.  For general questions or media inquiries, call 703.746.4774.