Star with AWLA staff member Brendan Barb

Visit the Shelter

Thank you for your interest in visiting the Vola Lawson Shelter operated by the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

The League welcomes small groups interested in taking a shelter tour and learning more about animal care and animal welfare issues. Shelter tours include an overview of the shelter and the companion animals in our care as well as a tour of all adoption areas. Most tours conclude with a visit with one or more shelter Animal Ambassadors and a discussion of how to help our furred, finned and feathered residents. School groups, Girl Scouts, Boys Scouts, After-School Clubs, etc are all welcome and encouraged to pay us a visit!

How to Schedule Your Tour

Group tours are offered 3 times a week:

  • Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.
  • Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Please click here to schedule your group. Unfortunately, unscheduled groups cannot be accommodated!

If you cannot visit during a pre-scheduled time slot, please contact and we will do our best to accommodate your preferred time, based on staffing. Please note, as the shelter is cleaned every morning, 12:00 p.m. is the earliest that any tour can begin. 

How to Help Shelter Animals

Visitors often ask if they can bring donations for the animals. If your group would like to bring in kind donations for the shelter animals, please click here to find instructions on how to make toys and treats at home. If you’d prefer to purchase items, please check out our Amazon wishlist.

As a 501c3 nonprofit, we are always in need of financial help. Monetary donations to help our animals can be made online or in person after the tour.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!