U.S. Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy traveled to Arlington this past Sunday to adopt a puppy he first met during the Winter Games earlier this year.
The heartwarming moment at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in Shirlington was captured on video by Humane Society International, which worked with Kenworthy to rescue the puppy — now named “Birdie” — and 90 other dogs from a dog meat farm in South Korea.
“At the time, the newborn Birdie was too young to travel with the other rescued dogs,” HSI said in a press release. “Once old enough, she and two of her siblings traveled to AWLA, one of HSI’s many shelter partners around the world, where Gus adopted her.”
“In March 2018, Gus adopted Beemo, who had been rescued from the same dog meat farm,” the press release also notes. “Sadly, Beemo died in May from a heart condition. Gus’s adoption of Birdie honors the memory of Beemo: she is named after one of Beemo’s favorite pastimes — bird-watching.”
Kenworthy and AWLA both recently wrote about the adoption on social media.
Flash Flood Watch Today — Arlington and much of the region is again under a Flash Flood Watch today and through early Saturday. Heavy rains expected during the day and evening may cause flash flooding, forecasters say. [Twitter, Weather.gov]
Smoke the Dog Visits Nats Park — Smoke, the Arlington shelter dog with terminal cancer who’s become an internet star for his quest to check off his “bucket list,” had quite a Thursday. The hound got to visit home plate at Nationals Park yesterday, and also got to go home to a new adoptive dog mom. [WJLA]
Arlington Unemployment Rate Still Lowest in Va. — “Despite a second month in a row of upticks, Arlington’s unemployment rate in June remained the envy of Virginia’s 132 other cities and counties. With 150,837 county residents in the civilian workforce and 3,393 looking for jobs, Arlington’s non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of 2.2 percent in June was lowest in the commonwealth.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Arlington County is searching for families willing to foster or adopt children, and anyone interested in learning about taking in a child can attend an information session tomorrow.
Foster care is a temporary arrangement for children who cannot live in their homes because of neglect, abuse or serious family trouble. These children might stay with a foster family for just a few days, or for years. Adults who are approved to foster can explore the possibility of adopting children as well.
Although the county needs families to accept all types of foster children, it has a particular need for people who will care for those of Hispanic, African American and other cultural backgrounds. There’s also high demand for families to take in teenagers, children with special needs and siblings.
Foster parents must be over 21, be employed either inside or outside the home and live in a house or apartment in or near Arlington County.
Adults interested in becoming a foster parent — or even just learning about what it entails — can attend an information session tomorrow (Thursday) night from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Contact Erica Serrano for information about the session location, at [email protected] or 703-228-1559.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington took in about 70 cats and dogs this past Friday (April 6) from shelters across Virginia and West Virginia.
Four staff members traveled to different parts of Virginia, but shelter staff from the West Virginia brought the animals to Arlington themselves.
The AWLA accepts animals weekly from the West Virginia shelter, and the large number of transfer requests from Virginia shelters wasn’t tied to any specific event, according to Chelsea Lindsey, the league’s communications specialist. The other shelters are simply high-intake and at capacity, and can’t easily adopt out all of the animals in their region.
Even though shelter transfers aren’t unusual, it was still a larger intake than usual for the AWLA.
“That’s a big number for us to take in in one day,” Lindsey told ARLnow.com, adding that she expects many of the kittens to be “snatched up quickly.”
About 50 of the animals were mother cats with kittens, and have been placed with foster families mainly in Arlington and Alexandria. Those kittens will have to wait until they are at least eight weeks old before being adopted out, in addition to hitting weight targets and being fixed.
Only one animal, a cat, from the large shelter transfer is ready for adoption. The dogs all need to be fixed and several of the cats have what Lindsey called “kitty colds.”
This past Friday we took in 70 animals from other shelters in VA! We are committed to saving more lives in our state, and are so excited to be partnering with high-intake shelters and giving pets a second chance at life. @HumaneSociety @ARLnowDOTcom @fox5dc @ABC7News @WTOP pic.twitter.com/9w7jRTkoc7
— AWLArlington, VA (@AWLAArlington) April 9, 2018
Photos courtesy of Animal Welfare League of Arlington
A new pet store is coming to Arlington County.
Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming, at 4550 Lee Highway, is holding its grand opening this Saturday (Feb. 10) at 10 a.m., where it will be offering gourmet dog treat samples and premium dog food, said a Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming press release.
The first 20 dogs to enter the store at the grand opening will receive free pet treats for a year. There will also be prizes, giveaways, and light refreshments.
Homeward Trails Animal Rescue will bring ready-to-adopt rescue animals to the store.
Besides treats, Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming offers self-service and grooming services. Customers can choose to use the store’s facilities to bathe their pets or pay to have the staff do it.
The store has more than 90 locations across the country, including one in Alexandria, Va.
Photo via Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming
Puerto Rico Pets Coming to Arlington for Adoption — Dogs and cats from Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from Hurricane Maria, were flown from the island to the D.C. area over the weekend by Arlington-based Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. The pets arrived via van convoy to a hero’s welcome in Shirlington and are now up for adoption. [Washington Post]
Arlington Among ‘Best Places to Live’ — City ranker Livability.com is out with its 2018 “Top 100 Best Places To Live” list and Arlington has placed No. 35, one spot below Pittsburgh and one above Asheville, N.C. Arlington previously ranked No. 3 on the list. [Livability]
Lower Property Value Rise Will Cause Budget Challenges — “The year-over-year increase in real-estate assessments throughout Arlington came in lower than government officials had expected, which may cause problems for County Board members trying to avoid either tax increases or budget cuts.” [InsideNova]
More on Key Bridge Marriott Sale — The new owners of the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn may benefit from the previous owner’s application to the FAA to construct buildings up to 470 feet tall on the property, which overlooks Georgetown and the Potomac River. The FAA application is “an indication it was setting the stage for the site’s redevelopment.” [Washington Business Journal]
Betsy Franz Leaves Leadership Center — Leadership Center for Excellence (formerly Leadership Arlington) founding President and CEO Betsy Frantz is leaving the organization in April to become President of the Virginia Hospital Center Health System Foundation. Liz Nohra, the COO of LCE, will take over as Acting President and CEO. [Leadership Center for Excellence]
Eviction Notice for TechShop in Crystal City — “A Jan. 18 eviction notice from the Arlington County sheriff’s department now hangs in the storefront of the maker space chain’s Crystal City location. The notice comes more than a month after San Jose, California-based TechShop announced it would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and then, a few weeks later, disclosed in early December it was reaching a deal to be acquired.” [Washington Business Journal]
County to Connect Building Owners and Investors for Sustainability — “All systems are ‘go’ for Arlington’s new ‘C-PACE’ program, a first-in-Virginia public-private partnership to provide affordable, long-term financing to improve energy or water efficiency of commercial buildings.” [Arlington County]
Reminder: Use Salt in Moderation — Prior to this morning’s rain, Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services tweeted a reminder to residents to avoid excess application of salt during freezing weather. “Use only as much as needed and no more to melt ice because this will wash into our watershed,” DES said. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Dogs displaced from Houston by Hurricane Harvey arrived yesterday (Monday) at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington to find new homes.
National animal rescue nonprofit Best Friends Society brought 15 adoptable dogs to AWLA (2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive) on its “Bobs From Skechers Roving Rescue Bus,” sponsored by the shoe brand. More dogs are also being taken to Atlanta and New York for adoption.
“Best Friends Animal Society has been on the ground taking care of pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey since August and opened the Pet Reunion Pavilion at the NRG Arena to reunite them with their owners,” a press release on the project reads. “Two months later, while some pets have been reunited or fostered/adopted to new homes, many are still in our care.”
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington announced it is opening the first neonatal kitten nursery in the D.C. area.
The “Kitten Academy” will help foster hundreds of kittens that are less than three weeks old, the age when a kitten is the most vulnerable. The academy will open thanks to a donation of $25,000 from Falls Church residents Ted and Willa Lutz.
According to AWLA, kittens in shelters have to overcome exposure to disease and the lack of a nursing mother before reaching an age when they can be adopted. As a result, many shelters are forced to euthanize the kittens.
Shelters can also struggle to accommodate all the neonatal kittens that arrive, especially during “Kitten Season” when many cats give birth. The season typically lasts from spring until fall, and reaches its peak in late spring.
AWLA will hold a Kitten Care Workshop on Wednesday, June 14 to train those interested in taking care of the kittens. The workshop will teach life-saving techniques and how to properly bottle feed them.
Photo via Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
The children in need of foster care come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and can no longer live in their homes because of abuse, neglect or severe family issues. Fostering is a temporary arrangement, but in some cases it can lead to adoption.
Families willing to take in teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs are in particularly high demand.
The county has the following qualifications for becoming a foster parent:
- Able to accept a child who needs a lot of patience, understanding and love
Over the age of 21
- Married or single
- With or without biological children
- Employed inside or outside the home
- Living in a house or apartment in Arlington County or the surrounding Virginia area
Staff with Child and Family Services will hold an information session from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The location will be sent to those who RSVP to [email protected]
Struggling Skyline Sold — Vornado has taken its properties in Skyline off of its balance sheet after the 2.6 million-square-foot, half-vacant complex sold at a foreclosure auction last week. The cancelled Columbia Pike streetcar project would have run to Skyline, with Fairfax County set to pay 20 percent of the project’s cost. [Washington Business Journal]
More on ‘Pop-Up’ Hotel — The inauguration will be the big test for WhyHotel, the “pop-up” hotel in the new Bartlett apartment building in Pentagon City. Developer Vornado sees this as an experiment that could yield temporary revenue while a building is leased up. Arlington County planning commissioner Erik Gutshall says the county could benefit from additional tax revenue and a more lively streetscape. [Washington Post]
Arlington = NYE Destination? — Travelers coming to the D.C. area for New Year’s Eve should consider staying in Arlington due to its proximity to the District and lower hotel rates, says an article on “last minute deals for New Year’s Eve hotels.” [Travel + Leisure]
Transracial Adoption in Arlington — Arlington is “a fantastic community in which to raise a transracially blended family,” says the father of (now grown) adopted children from Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India. [Arlington Magazine]
Clarendon Post Office Murals — A local man has written a 44-page book on the artist who painted seven New Deal-era murals in the Clarendon post office. [Washington Post]
Reporting Issues to the County — Arlington County is reminding residents that they can report out-of-sync traffic signals, crosswalks with broken buttons and other non-emergency service requests via an online form. [Twitter]
Last year, two kittens rescued by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington became Internet sensations thanks to a viral video of them dancing to the hit song “Turn Down for What.”
This year, another AWLA kitten is getting some Internet love. Winnie, a foster kitten, stars in a video of her “dancing” to the tune of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ pop hit “Uptown Funk.”
Since the video was uploaded to YouTube in May, it has received more than 600,000 views.
The AWLA wasn’t able to provide much information about Winnie, but did confirm that she was a foster kitten and has apparently since been adopted.
“Our foster coordinator recognizes the video kitten as one we had in the spring,” said league COO Susan Sherman.
Sherman said the organization, through its foster program, helps to rescue hundreds of kittens over the course of the summer. More kittens like Winnie, along with adult cats, are currently available for adoption.
“Kittens go to foster care when they are too young and sometimes too unsocial (feral) for adoption,” she said. “Once they reach two pounds in weight and are socialized to people, they come back to the shelter for adoption. We currently have nine kittens up for adoption and 24 in foster care who will be available in the next few weeks. Every summer our foster families help 200-300 kittens.”
The event is being held at the shopping center from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on March 28. It will be followed by a “Yappy Hour” at Zaika restaurant from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The pet adoption day is scheduled to be the only D.C. area stop this year for the North Shore Animal League “Tour of Life” bus. New York-based North Shore bills itself as the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. Beyond that, it’s perhaps best known nationally as the animal shelter publicly supported by Beth Stern and her husband, Sirius XM host and America’s Got Talent judge Howard Stern.
North Shore Animal League is partnering with Arlington-based Homeward Trails Animal Rescue for the event.
“The Tour of Life bus… will park on the Community Loop and house approximately 50 animals ready for adoption,” according to a Market Common spokeswoman. “The Loop will be transformed into an interactive dog park, where Arlington residents will have the opportunity to bring their pets to mingle with other animals, as well as have the opportunity to adopt from and donate to Homeward Trails.”
Ten percent of the proceeds from the Yappy Hour will be donated to Homeward Trails.
There are currently about 90 children in Arlington in need of the temporary living arrangement foster families provide. These children are unable to live in their homes for a variety of reasons, such as abuse, neglect or severe family problems. Children may need to stay with a foster family for just a few days or months, or for years.
“We know that it takes a special set of skills to parent a child that’s not your own or has been abused or neglected,” said Alissa Green, Arlington County Resource Family Coordinator.
A particular need exists for families with diverse cultural backgrounds.
“The children who are in care, much like Arlington itself, is a very diverse group. But we have a limited number of minority foster parents,” said Green. “We don’t match children with families based on race, but we like to try to match them culturally, if possible.”
Families willing to take in sibling groups and teenagers also are in high demand. More than 50 percent of Arlington’s foster children are age 13 or older.
The goal is to get foster children back with their families as soon as it’s safely possible. However, sometimes that isn’t the best option and the foster children may be adopted. All parents who qualify to foster in Arlington also are qualified to adopt a child, should the occasion arise.
“Our goal is to find a permanent plan for these kids as soon as possible,” said Green.
The fostering information session will be next Saturday (November 8) from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at 2100 Washington Blvd. Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP by calling 703-228-1550, or by emailing Erica Serrano at [email protected] Potential foster parents can fill out paperwork at the session, and the next step is to schedule formal training.
Arrow, the cat found that was found in Ballston shot with more than 30 BBs, including at least 20 that remain lodged in his head, was adopted today at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
Bluemont resident Anne Hancock took Arrow — who the shelter estimates is 6 years old — home after an emotional goodbye with AWLA staff. Arrow was brought to AWLA Jan. 18 by someone who found him wandering near Ballston Common Mall.
He came in with an upper respiratory infection and when he was given an X-Ray, veterinarians were shocked to find his body riddled with BBs and buckshot. One eye had to be removed, and he’s blind in his other eye.
Hancock’s daughter and grandson volunteer with AWLA — in fact, her daughter transported Arrow from the shelter to the vet — and they told her about the cat who, despite being horrifically abused, was so friendly and gentle around people.
“He seemed to be a special cat,” Hancock said. “He’s affectionate, sweet and very, very dear.”
Hancock will take him to a home with two other cats — cats that she said have been lonely since her third cat, which was similar in age and color to Arrow, died from cancer a few months ago.
Hancock was one of about 15 who expressed interest in adopting Arrow after ARLnow.com and other news outlets reported on him last month, AWLA Adoptions and Rescue Coordinator Amy Laferrera said. Frequently, animals that have been abused take longer to find homes, but Arrow was quickly in demand.
“We were shocked at how, all of a sudden, there was this huge outpouring of support,” LaFerrera said. “People not only wanted to adopt him but they wanted to donate and help the shelter any way they could.”
Arrow quickly became a favorite around the shelter, coming to humans who called for him or made noises to let him know they were nearby. Hancock picked him up at 2:00 p.m. today, and Arrow spent all morning saying goodbye to the staff at the shelter.
“I’m sad, in a good way, to see him go,” Charnita Fox, an animal care manager whose desk was just a few feet from Arrow’s pen. “I knew he was special when he was brought in because he pretty much let us do anything to him. We didn’t believe he was blind at first because he uses his other senses so well.”
After Hancock signed the adoption paperwork, Arrow was brought to AWLA’s front desk in crate to meet his new owner. He meowed a few times when his crate was closed, but when he was let out he quickly explored the desk he was on. Once Hancock picked him up, he settled peacefully into her arms as he was showered with affection. One AWLA staffer, after snapping a few cell phone photos, excused herself, saying “I’m going to go cry now.”
“He’s a special fella,” Hancock said after meeting him. “I feel like I won the lottery.”
A new documentary that focuses on the efforts of the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue organization will hold its premiere at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) later this month.
The Lucky Ones will premiere at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26. Tickets are $10 and the proceeds will be donated to Lucky Dog, which is the subject of the film and was involved in its creation, but did not supply funding, according to adoption coordinator Kristy Buechner.
According to Lucky Dog’s website:
The film centers around our vast network of volunteers and partner facilities. It follows the long journey that many homeless animals take to find their forever homes. It begins in the shelters and on the streets and follows the dogs until they find their forever homes. The film is a documentary not just about the animals but also about the tireless efforts of hundreds of volunteers who touch their lives in that journey.
The Lucky Ones was produced by Alexandria-based Creative Liquid Productions and directed by its founder, Ryan Pratzel, a former producer for Rosslyn-based WJLA. It was filmed on location in South Carolina and Puerto Rico, where Lucky Dog helps to rescue dogs from the streets and shelters, and the D.C. area., where the the organization finds homes for the dogs.
Editor’s Note: The Arlington Pet of the Week feature will return next week.