Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
AWLA provides animal adoption and community programs to the northern Virginia and D.C. metropolitan area, as well as animal rescue and control services within Arlington County. AWLA is committed to its mission to improve the lives of animals through sheltering, community services and humane education.
More than 3,000 companion animals benefit each year, with 92 percent of sheltered animals in 2013 either being adopted into loving homes, reunited with their owner, or transferred to one of many of AWLA’s network of rescue and rehabilitation partners.
Many of you already may be familiar with AWLA’s basic services, but AWLA also offers some innovative programs about which you may not be as familiar. These include baby ready pets, safekeeping (companions in crisis), and the veterinary assistance program.
Baby Ready Pets
Baby-Ready Pets is a free, two-hour workshop to help expectant families in northern Virginia prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of the new baby. This workshop:
- Provides tips and strategies for making the home a safe and (relatively) stress-free experience for all, and
- Has been endorsed by the ASPCA.
After the workshop, participants may call or email follow-up questions if they need additional support.
Safekeeping (Companions in Crisis)
If you are an Arlington County or Falls Church City resident, and you are experiencing a health or housing crisis (i.e. unexpected hospitalization, house fire), AWLA can shelter your pet on a short-term basis, through the Safekeeping program, giving you time to make other arrangements.
Pets are permitted to stay for up to two weeks, and there is no restriction on the number of times people can use the service. The pet’s owner is required to contact AWLA on a weekly basis during the safekeeping period to check on the wellbeing of their pet, and is permitted to visit their pet during the League’s regular visiting hours.
Veterinary Assistance Program
Through the Ross-Roberts Emergency Veterinary Assistance fund, the League makes small, no-interest loans to low-income pet owners who need emergency veterinary care for their pets but cannot afford the costs up-front. AWLA doesn’t cover expenses for basic pet care (shots, check-ups, teeth-cleaning) or chronic, life-long conditions (i.e. diabetes, heart condition, allergies). The owner agrees to pay back the loan in monthly installments and to have their pet spayed or neutered if it is not already.
Arlington is fortunate to have AWLA offering these services in our community. For more information about these programs, visit www.awla.org
Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.