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This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA). Since 1946, the AWLA 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 since 1989 to provide animal care, control and sheltering services at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, an open-­admission facility.

We shelter more than 2,000 animals a year, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, iguanas, chinchillas and many more, in permanent, loving homes each year. Our specially­-trained professional 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 AWLA has a vibrant volunteer corps of 200 who support our professional staff.

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is an independent, local, 501(c)(3) non­profit organization. The AWLA is committed to ending animal homelessness, promoting animal welfare, and serving as an educational resource for the City of Alexandria community. More information is at

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