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. 


Support Us

Since 1946, the Animal Welfare League, an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has been a safe haven and a voice for homeless animals in our community and a resource for area pet lovers. As part of our contract to provide animal care and control services for the City of Alexandria, the League receives approximately one-third of our annual operating budget from the city.

We rely on the generosity of our donors for two-thirds of our budget to provide critical care to our companion animal residents and quality programs for our surrounding community.

Why Support the League?

  • We are the local, non-profit animal sheltering organization serving our community, and depend on our community to join us in our mission to end animal homelessness and promote animal welfare throughout our region.
  • Every year, the League cares for more than 3,500 companion animals, maintaining our open admission policy—never turning away any animal in need.
  • We provide community outreach and education to our entire region and work to improve the lives of pets, their guardians, and those who simply care about animals. From career days at elementary schools to bite-prevention programs for local utilities’ workers, AWLA staff provide important information regarding companion animals and how we can safely interact with them.
  • Our name belies our geographic range. The League serves much of the Northern Virginia and Metropolitan DC region. We regularly adopt companion animals to residents of neighboring counties and jurisdictions.
  • Animal homelessness is everyone’s concern. Even those who do not own a pet recognize that we all share a responsibility to care for those unable to care for themselves.

How Can I Donate?

The League gratefully accepts all donations. Following are some of the more common ways to contribute to the League.

    • Give through the United Way (#8372), the Combined Federal Campaign (#92767) or other workplace giving programs (CVC #8068).
    • Memorial Gifts are a thoughtful way to commemorate the passing of a friend, loved one, or companion animal. Special notification will be sent to surviving family members, as requested.
    • Gifts in Honor of a friend or pet recognize that individual’s significance in your life as well as their compassion for animals in need.
    • Celebratory Gifts honor special events (such as weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries) while demonstrating a commitment to homeless animals.
    • Planned Gifts leave a legacy of love and care for the thousands of animals who come through our doors each year.

Questions about Donating?

Please contact Donna M. Brown, Development Manager, at dbrown@alexandriaanimals.org or 703-746-5512 with any questions.

Click here to make an online donation to the League. Thank you!


Our tax ID/EIN is 54-0796610

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is an independent, local, non-profit organization. We are not affiliated in any way, nor do we receive support from the Humane Society of the United States, the American Humane Association, the ASPCA or Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. All of the financial support we receive stays within our community. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.