Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

Our Mission

To inspire compassion for all living things, to provide shelter to animals in need, and to promote adoptions, animal welfare and responsible pet ownership in our community.

Helping Animals, Supporting Community

Star with AWLA staff member Brendan BarbSince 1946, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) has been a resource for our community and a shelter for homeless animals. Through adoptions, spay and neuter assistance, education, community service and outreach, the AWLA plays a key role in promoting responsible pet care across Northern Virginia. The AWLA has worked with the City of Alexandria to provide animal care, control, protection and sheltering services since 1989. We operate the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, an open-admission facility accepting any and all animals brought to us from within the jurisdiction. We have made a commitment to help animals in need with the help of our amazing and animal-loving community.

We care for more than 2,000 animals per year, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, iguanas, chinchillas. 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.

Love and Compassion

The AWLA has a vibrant volunteer corps of 200 animal lovers who support our full and part-time 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.


The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is an independent, local, 501(c)(3) 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.

Seal of Transparency - 2017 Gold - GuideStar - Alexandria Animals (AWLA)