Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is an independent, local, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Operating the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, an open-admission facility and Alexandria’s only animal shelter, the League touches the lives of more than 6000 animals every year, including strays, lost pets, local wildlife, rescue animals, and animals surrendered by their owners. The AWLA is committed to addressing animal homelessness, promoting animal welfare, and serving as an educational resource for the community. More information is at
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Animal Welfare League of AlexandriaWednesday, June 28th, 2017 at 6:06am
Thank you again to everyone for their support and love for Missy. As we noted in our post yesterday, she has found a wonderful home with a loving family, and we're so happy that she can start this next chapter of her life. We understand that many of you felt the sentence for this crime wasn't tough enough. It is important to remember that addressing abuse and neglect of animals as a serious crime has not been the standard in this country and requires a change in attitude and approach at all levels of our community and justice system. In many parts of the country, even the most egregious cases are not prosecuted or only when an animal is horribly injured or is killed. We are extremely pleased that the Commonwealth of Virginia and City of Alexandria is taking such a progressive approach and working with us to charge, prosecute and sentence these cases. We thank all of you for appreciating the many individuals/departments who not only helped Missy but are working together to build a strong foundation and precedent for future prosecution of crimes against animals.
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria added 4 new photos.Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 at 10:57am
AWLA thanks everyone who rescued Missy from abuse and helped to successfully convict the owner.

Missy, a one-year-old Labrador mix, needed the animal lovers of the City of Alexandria to rescue her – and they did. On March 6, 2017, multiple neighbors in the city of Alexandria heard a man yelling and saw him swinging a dog by her collar into a telephone pole and a wooden privacy fence. They called the City of Alexandria Department of Emergency Communications who then called AWLA's Animal Services and the Police Department, City of Alexandria, Virginia. AWLA's Chief of Animal Services Brian Rees heard the call and immediately responded. Alexandria Police was already on scene and APD Officer Bauman placed Missy into the safety of her patrol vehicle until Rees arrived and the investigation was initiated. Rees took Missy to AWLA Animal Champions VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital on Duke St. where she was examined by Dr. Ayre. He found that Missy had bruising on her belly consistent with blunt force trauma, many cuts to her legs, and the nails on her hind feet were shaved to the quick and bleeding. AWLA's Animal Services worked with the Police Department to charge the owner with Animal Cruelty 3.2-6570.

AWLA cared for Missy at the shelter while she healed from her physical and emotional trauma. On April 11, 2017, the Alexandria District Court awarded custody of Missy to the AWLA and we were then able to adopt Missy into a new, loving home!

The criminal trial for Missy’s case was held today. Animal Services Chief Rees, along with attorneys from the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, the APD Officers that responded, Dr. Ayre, and all of the witnesses from that day appeared to testify in court.

We are very pleased to report that Missy’s former abuser pled guilty and agreed to 90 days in jail (86 days suspended), no ownership of animals for the rest of his life and two years probation. We are very thankful to the Honorable Judge Haddock who agreed with the order and imposed the sentence; the Commonwealth Attorney’s office for all of their hard work and dedication on this case; VCA Alexandria and their staff, including Dr. Ayre, for their expertise; the Alexandria Police Department for working with us so closely to address animal abuse and everyone else who stood up for Missy and helped show that abuse against animals is a crime!

We have entered Missy into our fundraiser “Click Your Pick” to honor her and the people who saved her. Please consider voting for Missy or one of the many other animals in the contest to help us raise funds so that we can continue to rescue animals in the community and hold their abusers accountable. Missy's calendar page can be found here:
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Animal Welfare League of AlexandriaTuesday, June 27th, 2017 at 8:54am
Our #PetoftheWeek is Prince. Prince is a young and active boy who loves long walks on leash and plenty of cuddle time! His previous owner describes him as "a wonderful, loving, extremely well-behaved dog". Prince enjoys the company of teenagers and adults who can recognize and respect his boundaries. We would not recommend him for a home with another dog.

Prince is available for adoption now, so come by to meet this sweet and energetic boy!
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria added 3 new photos.Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 at 6:05am
AWLA Animal Champions VCA Old Town Animal Hospital is always thinking of new ways to assist AWLA's efforts to care for Alexandria's animals in need! Here are just a few of their activities posted in their lobby! VCA Old Town Animal Hospital
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Animal Welfare League of AlexandriaTuesday, June 27th, 2017 at 3:10am
Bob may be one of the first voices you hear when you come by to see the cats at the AWLA. This outgoing boy has some visual impairment, but that doesn’t stop him from saying hi to everyone who stops by. While it is not recommended that Bob live with other cats, he has lived with a dog before, and Bob’s adoption fees have already been paid by a generous donor. At 9 years old, Bob is a fairly low-energy kitty, so if you’re looking for a lounge cat that might be happy to sing along with your favorite tunes, then come by and meet him. We are open for adoptions beginning at noon today.
Photo courtesy of DeSilva Studios, LLC

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