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. 

Upcoming Events

Read the latest issue of Animal Welfare Matters newsletter, including our updated calendar – View PDF.



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


Elect A Pet - 2017 Calendar Contest - Animal Welfare League of Alexandria “Elect a Pet” Calendar Contest

Proximity to the nation’s capital during an election year has inspired the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) to present “Elect-a-Pet 2016,” a political spin on our already spirited annual photo competition.

Pet candidates belonging to Canine, Feline, and Small Animals parties will engage in a political race to secure their name on their party’s ballot, each vying for the coveted office of Alexandria’s 2017 Animal of the Year.

At the conclusion of the election, the AWLA will publish a colorful, full-sized calendar celebrating all of the candidates put forward in the election;

The winning Pet Elect will be featured on the front cover of the calendar;

Running Mates and Members of the Cabinet will also be awarded.

Submissions and voting begin August 15, 2016.





Elect A Pet - 2017 Calendar Contest - Animal Welfare League of Alexandria “Elect a Pet” Calendar Contest - Proximity to the nation’s capital during an election year has inspired the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) to present “Elect-a-Pet 2016,” a political spin on our already spirited annual photo competition. Pet candidates belonging to Canine, Feline, and Small Animals parties will engage in a political race to secure their name on their party’s […]
AWLA - Walk for Animals 2016 - Highlight Video A Little Rain Never Hurt Anyone! - Spirits were warm despite the damp day on May 1st for Alexandria’s Walk for Animals. Watch this video for some love right on the kisser! CLICK BELOW TO PLAY VIDEO: #WalkWithDoug AWLA’s Walk for Animals 2016
First Thursday - May 12 - Dog Days in Del Ray Dog Days in Del Ray – May 12th - “Dog Days In Del Ray” Postponed To May 12. Due to rain, First Thursday’s “Dog Days in Del Ray” will be rescheduled for Thursday, May 12 from 6pm to dusk. Join us NEXT Thursday for a wide variety of canine-themed activities for dogs and their humans, including an obstacle course, doggie beer & wine tasting, […]
Walk web image Alexandria’s Walk for Animals: Sunday, May 1st - Put on your walking shoes and show your support for your local animals shelter at Alexandria’s Walk for Animals on Sunday, May 1, 2016! The Walk, which begins in Old Town Alexandria’s Market Square, will be hosted by Dr. Katy Nelson of The Pet Show with Dr. Katy. We’ll have plenty of fun activities for kids, including a […]
Earlybird reg web image 2016 Walk for Animals registration open - The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is thrilled to announce that registration for the 2016 Alexandria’s Walk for Animals is now open! Click here to register for the Walk for Animals!  Register for Alexandria’s Walk for Animals, on Sunday, May 1, 2016, to help care for animals in need in the community! Participate as an individual or […]
NEW Fun Dog Show image Fun Dog Show: March 5th - The good times on Parade Day begin with the Fun Dog Show! It’s an event that brings out animal lovers of all kinds and lets our four-legged friends strut their stuff, shake a tail, and don their finest Irish apparel! The Fun Dog Show begins at 11 a.m. with our Master of Ceremonies, ABC7 meterologist Brian van de […]
Walk web Save the Date: Alexandria’s Walk for Animals - We have an important message from Doug, our 2016 calendar contest winner and Alexandria Animal of the Year! Stay tuned for details about registering for the Walk!
"Go On Adventures with Star" by Daniel Congrats to winner of kid’s art contest! - The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria congratulates Daniel, the winner of the Kids Promote Adoption Through Art contest! Daniel’s winning painting, “Go On Adventures with Star,” was created at First Night Alexandria‘s New Year’s Eve event at the Torpedo Factory with Upcycle Creative Reuse Center. The painting depicts Star, one of the dogs rescued from […]
Art contest Vote for your favorite piece of art! - On New Year’s Eve, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria participated in a First Night Alexandria event with UpCycle at the Torpedo Factory where children were asked to draw pictures of adoptable animals to help them find new homes. Through Friday, January 8, 2016, you can vote for your favorite piece of art by “liking” it […]
Upcycle Logo_Web New Years Eve Event: Kids Use Art to Promote Adoption - WHEN: Thursday, December 31, 2015 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm WHERE: Torpedo Factory, 105 N Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314 In the great hall of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) and UpCycle Creative Reuse Center have teamed up to involve children in helping to promote shelter animals that are available […]
Shelter Closed - December 10th Shelter Closed Thursday, Dec 10th, due to water main break! - Thursday, December 10th – The shelter is closed today because of a broken water main. We hope to be open tomorrow. Thank you!
Tiger and Sofia web image Long-time cat residents find new homes - We had a cat-tastrophe brewing in our cat room late in November: We had multiple cats who had been here for over 6 months! Tiger had been here the longest. He had been waiting for a new home since January and we couldn’t figure out why Tiger was having such a rough time. He was […]
Santa Photo for web Santa Photos: Dec. 4 – Dec. 6 - Ring in the holiday season by having your pets photographed with Santa! Our friends Olde Towne School for Dogs are hosting Santa Photos again this year, December 4 – 6. DeSilva Studios will be behind the lens. Call Olde Towne School for Dogs at 703-836-7643 to reserve your pet’s spot on Santa’s lap. Appointments are limited and […]
Whats New post image Open Now: Saving Lives Through the Shelter’s Lenses - The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is proud to host Saving Lives through the Shelter’s Lenses, a photographic art show showcasing the work of our talented volunteer photographers. The show’s artists donate their time and professional photography skills to take beautiful, captivating photographs of our adoptable animals to help them appeal to potential adopters. The show […]
Barksgiving what's new Barksgiving Reunites Dogs from AWLA on Nov. 7, 2015 - On Saturday, November 7, 2015, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is hosting Barksgiving, an open house and reunion for dogs adopted from the AWLA. Any dogs adopted from the AWLA are invited to attend. Barksgiving will be held at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, at 4101 Eisenhower Ave. in Alexandria. AWLA alumni and their […]
HOWL-O-WEEN Whats New for web Howl-O-Ween on Thursday - It’s that time of the year: Leaves are changing colors, we’re finally rid of the summer heat, and there’s lots of great scary movies on TV. Oh yeah, and it’s time for Howl-O-Ween!   Howl-O-Ween is this Thursday, Oct. 29, at Hotel Monaco/Jackson 20, located at 480 King St. in Old Town Alexandria. There will […]
Shelter Storytime small image Shelter Storytime: Fun event for kids! - Join us for a very special Halloween Shelter Storytime! Storyteller Miss Leann will lead us in a story, making a halloween craft, and we will get a visit from an adorable adoptable animal! Children of all ages are welcome, however the program is generally developed for pre-school ages and their parents. Parents MUST attend with […]
Whats new image Walk-in $10 Rabies Vaccines Offered 10/21/15 - The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is offering $10 rabies vaccines for cats and dogs who are at least 4 months of age on October 21, 2015. Vaccines will be offered on a walk-in basis at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter (operated by the AWLA) at 4101 Eisenhower Ave. in Alexandria from 8am to […]
UW for Web Help Animals Through Workplace Giving -   Gifts to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) support important work. We provide food, shelter, veterinary care, and second chances for thousands of animals each year, and we rely on generous donations to give the best care possible to each and every animal who comes through our doors. One easy way to support our […]
Upcoming Events_Fall into Giving Fall into Giving ends Friday, 9/25 - Looking for new ways to support the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria? Starting Monday, September 21, you can participate in Fall into Giving, a 5-day donation drive hosted by ACT for Alexandria. It’s easy to get in on the giving: Just pick an item from our Amazon Wish List that’s in your price range, and […]
RESIZE FOR WEB_2015 Cover Photo Max and Abby 2016 Calendar Photo Contest - We’re in the final stretch of our biggest annual fundraiser, the AWLA’s Calendar Photo Contest! You can register to enter your pet or vote for your favorite pet now through September 17th. Click here to get the full scoop on the adorable pets in the running for the coveted cover photo and 2016 Alexandria Animal(s) of the Year!
2015-calendar-cover_phixr Back to School Special - It’s that time of year again! Yes, it’s time to go back to school and cats make great study buddies! Homework is so much easier with a warm kitty in your lap. We are having a “Going Back to School” special on all adult cats – all fees are waived from August 28th to September […]
ax072215-620_t670_phixr 2016 Calendar Pet Contest - We’re looking for the stars of the cover! Enter your animal to be a part of the 2016 AWLA Pet Calendar. Visit the link to see all the entries, submit your pet’s photo, and vote for your favorites.
1455031_879385135442235_3451324353510639785_n_phixr PBS News Hours Reports on Shelter - We were very pleased to have PBS NewsHour report on our foster care program as part of their educational workshops –http://www.studentreportinglabs.com – taught by their journalists. We look forward to sharing the video they will be creating.
IMG_0486_phixrkitten Rabbit/Guinea Pig Adoption Special - Adoption special – click for details.
webA_MG_9166_phixr_phixr July 5th – No Fee Adoptions of Cats - Adoption special – no fees for cats on 7/5/15.
catgradpromothumbnail AWLA’s Class of 2015 – June Cat Adoption Event! - Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for…graduation! The AWLA is proud to announce our ‘Class of 2015’ – select cats, that have passed through the University of AWLA and are now ready to ‘graduate’ and be adopted, will have their adoption fees waived starting on June 1st! See below for […]
05_summer camp Summer Camp 2015 - Jump to details for Summer Camp 2015.
DogDays FirstThur_phixr Dog Days in Del Ray - AWLA will be participating in First Thursdays Dog Days in Del Ray:  http://www.visitdelray.com/
walk Alexandria’s Walk for Animals - Click here to launch our new “Walk for Animals” website at http://alexandriaanimals.org/walk. Help us reach our goals and join us on May 3, 2015. Check-in is at 9AM. Location: Old Town Market Square, 301 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Paws-n-Claws_featured Paws ‘N Claws for Art - Paws ‘N Claws for Art Exhibit at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter February 21 – May 31, 2015 Reception: Friday, February 27 from 7-9pm Please join us for a reception to view the artwork. Light fare and refreshments will be served during the reception, and Animal Welfare League staff will be available to conduct tours […]
walk Shelter Walk 2015 - Alexandria’s Walk for Animals May 3, 2015 – Save the date and share this link! We’ll be posting more details about the big event in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please share this link and spread the word – http://alexandriaanimals.org/walk For more info, please contact Cynthia Brown Long, Director of Development, at clong@AlexandriaAnimals.org or […]
snowflake_phixr Whisker Wonderland - Adopt one of our “Shelter Snowflakes” this month and their adoption fee will be waived! Look for a snowflake on the animal’s kennels or website to see if they are on of our “Shelter Snowflakes”. December 1st through December 31st. * Normal adoption fees apply for all other animals. Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Poster11x17_phixr Santa Photos on Dec 5, 6 and 7th - Have you secured your dog(s)’/cat(s)’ or other animal(s)’ spot on Santa’s lap for a beautiful holiday photo? On December 5, 6 and 7, Olde Towne School For Dogs will hold its 22nd annual “Santa Photos” – a fundraiser for AWLA at their store at 529 Oronoco Street. Call 703.836.7643 to schedule an appointment. All proceeds […]
rescueme Art Show ‘Rescue Me’ - Oct. 27th, 2014 – January 25th, 2015 Reception: Friday November 14th from 7-9pm Del Ray Artisans and the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria are teaming up to present an animal-themed art exhibit and fundraiser on the walls of the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter in Alexandria (4101 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria VA 22304)- “Rescue Me”.  Dogs, cats and other […]
photo (42)_phixr Howl-O-Ween, a Fundraiser for AWLA - Vinnie, AWLA alumnus and local “celebripup”, is getting ready for Howl-O-Ween on October 30th! This is the annual Doggie Costume Contest hosted by Hotel Monaco Alexandria – A Kimpton Hotel and Jackson 20 to benefit the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. Vinnie is excited to be one of the judges of the contests this year. […]
AWLVA_featured-newsletter Fall 2014 Newsletter & Calendar - Hot off the presses: read the Fall 2014 issue of Animal Welfare Matters newsletter and calendar – View PDF. Check out stories, upcoming events, pics and more about what’s new at AWLA. Share it! If you are interested in helping AWLA, please click Donate to make a difference. Check out more Featured Events and Fundraisers […]
size2_7421 (1)_phixr Calendar Contest Winners - Thank you for making AWLA’s Photo Calendar Contest a huge success!! Thank you to everyone for helping us to raise more than $50,000 in this year’s 2015 Alexandria Animals Pet Photo Calendar Contest!! Support came from all of you who entered pets, voted, purchased honor blocks, and purchased calendars. Gifts came through the website and […]
2015 Calendar Cover_front 2016 AWLA Calendar Photo Contest - We are pleased to announce that our 2015 Pet Photo Calendars are now on sale! $15 each or two for $25. Stop by the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria to pick up yours today! (If your pet was in the contest, please stop by and pick up your complimentary calendar!) We will soon post a […]
Photo-Contest_2015_featured Pet Photo Contest - The Pet Photo Calendar Contest is a way to showcase your favorite animal companion while supporting those animals who are waiting for a home of their own. Each year, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria produces a full color calendar and allows supporters to decide the next ‘top models’ for pet of the month and […]


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