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by Ethan Rothstein — July 3, 2013 at 10:00 am 439 0

The Fourth of July — traditionally filled with fireworks exploding and open flames for barbecues — can be dangerous for pets, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington warns. All sorts of hazards can cause dogs and other critters harm or cause them to run away.

“Dogs have acute hearing — far more sensitive than human hearing — so firework explosions, excited voices, visual stimulation and smells can panic dogs causing them to be fearful, which can activate their fight or flight response,” Alice Burton, Chief Animal Control Officer for the AWLA, said in a press release. “For their own safety this holiday, indoor-outdoor cats should be kept indoors and when outside, dogs should be kept on a leash.”

The AWLA offers some tips to make sure the household pets have a safe holiday.

  • Leave them at home inside. Fireworks, crowds and fanfare can be stressful for pets, causing them to panic or run off. Leave them in a safe area with a television or radio playing to mask frightening sounds.
  • Alcoholic drinks poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure.
  • Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent that is not specifically indicated for animals. Ingestion can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. Deet, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.
  • Keep lighter fluid and matches away from pets. Chlorates, a chemical substance found in some matches, if ingested, can cause difficulty breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease. Lighter fluid can cause skin irritation, respiratory and gastric problems.
  • Citronella and insect coils harm pets. Insect repellants are irritating toxins to pets. Inhalation can cause severe respiratory illness such as pneumonia, which can harm a pet’s nervous system.
  • Resist feeding table food. A change in diet can give a pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. Foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Keep pets away from glow jewelry. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling, gastrointestinal irritation and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing the pieces of plastic.
  • Never use fireworks around pets. While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

Flickr pool photo by ameschen

by Katie Pyzyk — June 27, 2013 at 8:55 am 1,089 0

Potomac Overlook Regional Park

Firefly Festival on Sunday — All attention will be on the critters that light up the night at the 5th Annual Firefly Festival at Fort C.F. Smith Park (2411 24th Street N.) this Sunday, June 30. Activities include bug hunts, games, crafts, walks and talks about fireflies. There is a $7 charge per participant and children two and under are free. Attendees can bring a picnic to enjoy while waiting for the events at sundown. [Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation]

Ducklings Rescued — Earlier this month, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington got some help from the Arlington County Fire Department with an animal rescue mission. Together they removed five ducklings that had become stuck in a storm drain. [Washington Post]

Tejada Re-elected to Position on National Association of Regional Councils — Arlington County Board Chair Walter Tejada has been re-elected as the Board of Directors Region III Director on the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC). NARC advocates for regional cooperation as a means of effectively addressing community planning opportunities and issues. It represents more than 230 regional councils and planning organizations across the country. Tejada has served in the position since 2011.

by ARLnow.com — June 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm 0

Cats up for adoption at the Animal Welfare League of ArlingtonThe Animal Welfare League of Arlington is desperately seeking adoptive homes for cats.

The AWLA shelter is at capacity for cats, the organization said Tuesday afternoon. More than 100 cats and kittens are currently at the shelter or in foster care, and another 100 are “expected to arrive throughout the month.”

To help find homes for the shelter’s burgeoning feline population, AWLA is offering a promotional special for cat adoptions in June.

“We have an urgent need for adopters or fosters,” said AWLA Communications Manager Kerry McKeel via email. “Our adult cat adoption fee is normally $100, but AWLA is offering an adoption incentive throughout June — ‘Three Name Your Fee.’ Folks who adopt cats 3 years old and over not only can name their price, but their adoption fee will also include: a certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian, spay or neuter surgery, a feline leukemia and feline AIDS test, a distemper vaccination, a personalized I.D. tag, a microchip, an information packet and an emergency sticker.”

Foster homes are also needed for young kittens.

“Our greatest need right now is for fosters who can help to take care of these kittens for a few weeks until they are old enough to be adopted,” said foster care coordinator Sara Emery. “We have a specific need for fosters for kittens who need to be fed every three to four hours around the clock, so retirees, people who work from home or graduate students are in especially high demand.”

Those wanting to find out how to adopt from AWLA can do so on the group’s website. The organization’s press release, after the jump.

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by Katie Pyzyk — April 19, 2013 at 10:45 am 831 0

Girl Scouts build garden for AWLA Girl Scouts build garden for AWLA

Earth Day apparently isn’t just for humans. The animals at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (2650 Arlington Mill Drive) in Shirlington will be getting a special treat in recognition of the day.

Girl Scout Troop 1251 from Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in Falls Church has been helping to construct a “small companion animal garden” at the shelter. Animals at the shelter including rabbits, guinea pigs and birds will soon be able to munch on the fresh, organic produce that will be grown in the garden.

The scouts will put the final touches on the garden on Monday, which is Earth Day. At that time, they will finish planting the produce such as cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, parsley and carrots.

by Katie Pyzyk — April 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm 574 0

Cat and kittens (photo via AWLA Facebook page)It’s that time of year again — kitten season.  The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) needs people willing to offer foster care for the young animals.

Because of the possibility the vulnerable animals may contract an illness, AWLA cannot keep kittens under the age of eight weeks in its shelter. Young kittens also cannot regulate their own body heat, eat on their own or go to the bathroom on their own. They must be fed every three to four hours and kept warm. AWLA does not have overnight staff, so it is seeking volunteers who can care for the animals around the clock until they are old enough to be adopted.

AWLA Foster Care Coordinator Sara Emery explained that cats can only go into heat a few times each year and only during warm weather, so March usually brings a spike in births. Kittens typically continue being born and brought to the shelter through November, depending on the weather. Twelve kittens have arrived at the shelter in the last week alone and Emery expects around 60 more throughout the summer.

Anyone can fill out an application to foster a kitten. AWLA staff will then interview candidates and examine the home environment to find a good animal-human fit. There is no cost to the person fostering a kitten; all supplies (including litter boxes and toys) are provided and will be replenished as necessary. The average time commitment is about three to four weeks, but will not be longer than eight weeks.

Those who provide foster care will have the opportunity to adopt the kitten at the end of its stay, or suggest someone who may be able to provide a permanent home.

Anyone interested in becoming a part of the kitten foster program should contact Sara Emery at 703-931-9241, extension 245, or by emailing semery@awla.org.

by ARLnow.com — March 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm 1,458 13 Comments

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is warning that people and pets might have been exposed to a rabid animal in Glencarlyn Park.

Two dogs were seen fighting with a rabid raccoon in the park this past weekend, the AWLA said in a press release. The organization is seeking anyone and anything who might have come in contact with the raccoon.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is seeking information about anyone who may have had contact with a raccoon in Glen Carlyn Park on Saturday, March 9, 2013. A witness saw two dogs fighting in the water with a raccoon in the off-leash dog area. Animal Control located the raccoon later that day and humanely euthanized it. The raccoon has tested positive for rabies. Any people or pets that may have had contact with the raccoon should call Animal Control at 703-931-9241 immediately.

by ARLnow.com — January 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm 452 22 Comments

Animal Welfare League of Arlington sign near Shirlington

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is touting the benefits of adopting a rescue animal as a pet.

The Shirlington-based organization, in a press release (below), said shelter pets can help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions.

Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) encourages you to make pets a part of your New Year’s resolution plan. Resolving to adopt a shelter pet will not only improve the quality of life for that animal, but will also enhance your own. A new pet can help you achieve many of the following most popular resolutions made each year.

  • Lose Weight, Get Healthy: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and feelings of loneliness. Nearly 13.6 percent of Arlingtonians are obese, compared to the 24 percent national average. Adopting a dog as a workout partner can provide that needed motivation for daily exercise. Taking your dog for a daily 30-minute walk (or two 15-minute walks, one in the morning and one in the evening) will keep you moving and ensure that you meet the minimum recommendations for healthy physical activity. There are many dogs at the League waiting for a new human companion who wants to walk, jog, or run every day.
  • Reduce Stress: There is no better stress reducer than the companionship of a devoted pet. Stroking a cat, dog, or small companion animal is a calming activity, which can lower heart rate and blood pressure. Research has indicated that when people spend time with a pet their levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered while their level of serotonin, a hormone associated with improved mood and well-being, is increased.
  • Spend More Time with Friends and Family: Pets are an excellent way to bring families together, and dog walking is a great way to meet new people. Humans are social animals and need to interact with others. Pet owners have a tendency to want to share time and experiences with other pet owners. Walking your dog or visiting a dog park lets you socialize with other owners while your dog socializes with their dogs.
  • Help Others: People can experience a big boost in their own mood from doing something good for others. By adopting an animal you will not only be helping, you will be rescuing a life. Most pet owners report that they actually benefit more from the relationship than their pet. Resolving to adopt from or volunteer with AWLA will not only provide you with an intrinsic reward, but also the satisfaction of enriching the lives of animals.
  • Enjoy Life More: Having a pet can really make a difference in your daily quality of life. While the bond between pets and their people can be described in many ways, the bond at its root is an unconditional and uncomplicated love. Pets are not only a devoted source of comfort and loyalty, but can also provide a sense of safety and security. Caring for a pet can lead to a richer, fuller, and more meaningful life.

This year make a New Year’s resolution to enrich your life by rescuing a shelter animal. To learn more about AWLA’s diverse selection of companion animals including cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, and hamsters, download Arlington Pets App; visit the League at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive or www.awla.org .

by ARLnow.com — December 5, 2012 at 8:55 am 3,354 67 Comments

Va. to Consider Tougher Texting Laws — In January, state lawmakers will consider bills that would stiffen the penalties for texting while driving in Virginia. Currently, texting while driving is a secondary offense — you can only be charged with it if pulled over for another violation — and the penalty is a $20 fine for the first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses. Del. Scott Surovell (D-Mt. Vernon) wants drivers to be charged with reckless driving if they get in an accident while texting. [Lynchburg News & Advance, Daily Press, WTOP]

Road Closures for ‘Jingle Bell Run’ — Parts of S. Joyce Street and Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City will be closed from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. Race attendees are encouraged to take Metro. [Arlington County Police]

Hynes Lauds Animal Welfare Efforts — Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes has issued a proclamation praising the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and The Humane Society of the United States “for working together to improve the treatment of animals, including farm animals in the food industry.” [Humane Society]

PG Lawmaker Called ‘Too Arlington’ — Prince George’s County Council member Eric Olson, a progressive Democrat and noted environmentalist, recently lost his bid to become chairman of the Council. One lawyer who represents developers in Prince George’s County said of Olson: “Some people think he is too ‘Arlington.’” [Washington Post]

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2012 at 9:10 am 3,094 30 Comments

More on the Arlington Goat Prank – The Navy has confirmed that Bill the Goat, the U.S. Naval Academy mascot, was the goat that was found tied up in a median at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and S. Eads Street, near the Pentagon, this past weekend. The goat was “recovered Saturday morning in good condition.” The Army-Navy football game is Dec. 8 and a Navy spokeswoman noted: “Bill the Goat has been a part of our 10-game winning streak against Army, so we are glad to have him back before the big game next week.” [Navy Times]

Arlington GOP Counts Accomplishments — Even though Republican candidates did not win a single race in Arlington, members of the Arlington County Republican Committee are tallying some small victories. “We kept Arlington moving toward more common-sense policies,” said Matt Wavro, this year’s GOP County Board candidate. [Sun Gazette]

‘Shark Tank’ Charity Pitch Event — Twenty entrepreneurs from around Virginia will have a chance to pitch their business startup ideas to panel of business leaders and investors in Arlington this morning. The Shark Tank-like pitch competition will help raise money for charity. The event is taking place at the Ballston offices of Arlington Economic Development, but tickets are no longer available. [Eventbrite]

by Katie Pyzyk — November 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm 11,096 67 Comments

(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) An unusual occurrence prompted a call to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington on Saturday. Passersby spotted a goat tied up on a median in Crystal City.

A caller informed AWLA that a goat was tied up on a median at the intersection of S. Eads Street and Army Navy Drive. The goat was still there when AWLA representatives arrived on the scene. Workers rescued the goat and took it to the AWLA shelter in Shirlington.

Shortly after the animal was picked up, the owner called and retrieved the goat from the shelter. Although AWLA does not disclose information about the owners of reclaimed animals, it notes the goat was a college mascot.

No charges have been brought forth because it’s unclear exactly who left the goat tied up on the median.

by ARLnow.com — November 27, 2012 at 11:55 am 3,043 12 Comments

Tom and Jo Straub have prided themselves on their elaborate Christmas light display for years. Only recently have they started using it to raise money for a good cause.

The couple has transformed the front yard of their Leeway Overlee area house, located at 5612 24th Street N., into a “dancing” light show synchronized to 15 of their favorite Christmas songs.

The display contains some 10,000 LED lights, which blink and “dance” with the music. The tunes can be heard from speakers outside the house and via a low-power radio station they set up for people who’d rather stay in their cars with the windows up. The station can be found at 98.1 on the FM dial.

The lights have been on display since Thanksgiving night and will be on every night through New Years Day. The show runs from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Santa Claus (as played by Mr. Straub) is on hand from 6:00 to 8:00 on most nights.

Not only are the lights fun to watch, but they’re also helping to raise money for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. A small mailbox near the street collects cash donations for the AWLA, as well as donations of pet food, pet beds, toys and other pet supplies. Once a donation is made, the donor can reward themselves by hitting a button near the mailbox for a small bonus light show.

Last year was the couple’s first year collecting for the AWLA. Tom Straub said they collected $1,100 for the organization, and hopes to raise even more this year.

Straub said the display requires about 2,000 feet of extension cords and takes all year to plan. He said the outdoor speakers turn off at 8:00 and he hasn’t heard any serious complaints from neighbors this year. He has, however, received a complaint about his Santa-like beard, which he started growing in June 2011.

“The wife is fed up with it, so it’s coming off on the 24th,” he said.

by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm 4,304 37 Comments

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s Animal Control Department is seeking information about an injured puppy.

The AWLA says the 4-6 week old Boxer puppy was found yesterday, Sept. 27, on the 400 block of N. Oakland Street, in the Ashton Heights neighborhood. The puppy was “very sick and severely injured,” the organization said.

Citing an ongoing investigation, AWLA Chief Operating Officer Susan Sherman declined to release details about the nature of the puppy’s injuries.

Anyone with information about the puppy is asked to call Animal Control at 703-931-9241.

File photo of three-month-old Boxer puppy by Almcwilliams via Wikipedia

by ARLnow.com — June 27, 2012 at 9:05 am 4,058 129 Comments

New Mexican Restaurant Coming to Clarendon — Less than a month after the closure of Market Tavern in Clarendon, we now know what will take its place. Fuego Cocina and Tequileria is expected to open in the space, at 2950 Clarendon Blvd, later this fall. The casual Mexican restaurant, which will apparently not serve burritos, will be run by the Passion Food Restaurant Group, which also runs Acadiana, Ceiba and District Commons in D.C. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Gay Pride Event at Pentagon — About 350 people packed a Pentagon auditorium yesterday for the Defense Department’s first celebration of Gay Pride Month. In a videotaped message, President Obama said the hour-long ceremony was held to honor openly gay service members. [Bloomberg]

AWLA to Hold Yard Sale– The Animal Welfare League of Arlington will be holding a “Mutts and Mittens” yard sale this weekend. “The yard sale will include items donated by the public including: art, jewelry, gently used clothing, household items, and more,” according to an AWLA press release. “Funds raised at the yard sale will help care for the birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, and dogs that enter the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s (AWLA) doors every day.” The sale will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 at the front yard of the AWLA offices at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive, near Shirlington.

by ARLnow.com — June 21, 2012 at 8:55 am 2,263 50 Comments

AWLA Wins ‘Best in Shelter’ Contest — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington will receive $50,000 in prize money after one of its dogs won the “Best in Shelter” contest. Gaston, a four-year-old American Bulldog mix, received the most votes in the contest, which was sponsored by author Martha Grimes. “The prize money will help us do even more for all the homeless animals that come into our shelter, including vaccines, medications, surgeries, and enrichment,” said AWLA Executive Director Neil Trent. Gaston was propelled to victory, at least in part, thanks to a music video produced by AWLA supporters.

Hot Weather Biking Tips — Given the on-going heat advisory, BikeArlington has posted some tips for bicycling in hot weather. Among them: hydrate, dress light, and take your time. [CommuterPage Blog]

Leonsis to Address Ballston BID — Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis will be the keynote speaker at the first annual meeting of the new Ballston Business Improvement District this evening. Leonsis is expected to talk about “entrepreneurship and the future of Ballston” at the meeting, which is being held from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Westin Arlington Gateway (801 N. Glebe Road). The meeting is open to local residents but attendees are asked to RSVP in advance. [Ballston BID]

Officer’s Donation Noted at Shirlington Library — When Lt. Col. James R. Mailler died in 2011, he left a donation to one of his favorite places — the Shirlington Branch Library. Now Lt. Col. Mailler’s donation is being recognized with a plaque near the newspapers, where he used to spend much of his time. [Library Blog]

Flickr pool photo by Alex

by Katie Pyzyk — June 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm 2,205 13 Comments

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) has entered a wacky video into a virtual dog show contest.

The Best in Shelter contest highlights dogs that have had a hard time being adopted. Four area shelters were chosen to participate, and must submit a video submission for each canine entrant. Visitors to the website vote for their favorite dog based on the video, photos and listed information.

In addition to fulfilling the goal of finding homes for the featured dogs, the shelter with the winning pooch will receive a $50,000 donation. The second and third place winners will receive $25,000 and $15,000, respectively.

Longtime D.C. area resident and New York Times bestselling author Martha Grimes started Best in Shelter last year to bring attention to animal shelters. She is providing the prize money.

“I’m happy that the four animal shelters participating in Best in Shelter will help demonstrate that shelter dogs are the equal to purebred dogs when it comes to looks, love, and loyalty and would be a happy addition to any family,” Grimes said. “We hope this will encourage people who have not considered adopting a pet from a shelter to visit their local shelter to look at the dogs.”

AWLA made the special video (above) for Gaston, a four-year-old American Bulldog mix, because he has been there for so long. Shelter officials hope the publicity from this contest might help to find Gaston a good home. AWLA’s other entrants are Molly, Pooh Bear and Rumor.

Another Arlington-based organization, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation is also a contender for the prize money. It entered Daphne, Harley, Cowboy and Pepper.

Voting takes place from now until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 17. Anyone may vote, but there is a limit of one vote per day. Winners will be announced sometime next week.

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