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by Bridget Reed Morawski April 24, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

Someone squealed on the owner of a pet pig who has been bringing his or her precious porcine to the Shirlington dog park.

A tipster tells ARLnow that a pig has been coming to the dog park with its owner for at least the past two Saturdays, even though county code specifies that “no animals should be inside the dog park perimeters whether on or off of a tether or leash except for dogs.”

Additionally, Arlington residents cannot keep or maintain “any pig, shoat, sow, hog, or other porcine animal anywhere within the confines of the county.” Pigs have been illegal to keep as pets in the county, according to the local ordinance, since 1935.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington have heard of the pig, which arrives on a leash and harness with its owner.

“It was casually mentioned to me today that a friend was aware that a pig had been in the dog park,” said Jennifer Toussaint, the county’s chief animal country officer, told ARLnow Monday.

However, the AWLA had not received any complaints or service calls regarding the prohibited pig. Toussaint has never received a formal complaint about a pig in the county during her ten years with organization.

The Dept. of Parks and Recreation would, in fact, have to be first to get involved, given that it is a question of inappropriate park usage, according to Toussaint.

AWLA is an education-based agency, she added, so pigs wouldn’t be confiscated immediately. After informing owners of the county code, the shelter’s policy would be to give owners a week, as a compliance period, to re-home their pet where it could be legally kept.

If an owner was unable to find a suitable home, there are “quite a few farm sanctuaries known to assist locals in Northern Virginia with pets” that were, intentionally or otherwise, illegally acquired.

Unlike some more nuanced local laws, Toussaint said it’s not difficult to understand that it’s illegal to have a pet pig in Arlington.

“Some ordinances are very tricky to understand,” she said. “This is pretty much a clear, one sentence ordinance.”

Courtesy photo

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 10, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

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.”

Photos courtesy of Animal Welfare League of Arlington

by ARLnow.com April 4, 2018 at 8:45 am 0

Secret Service Vehicle Stolen in Arlington — A pair of thieves stole a vehicle belonging to the U.S. Secret Service from an Arlington service center yesterday afternoon. The vehicle did not have any equipment inside that “compromises the Secret Service mission,” the Secret Service told news organizations. It was reported stolen from the 900 block of N. Jackson Street, which corresponds with the location of Arlington Autocare near Clarendon. [WUSA 9, Washington Post]

Arlington and Alexandria Working Together on HQ2 — “The city of Alexandria and Arlington County are apparently working together in their efforts to land Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters… Arlington County’s Crystal City and the Alexandria portion of Potomac Yard south of Four Mile Run are believed to have been jointly offered up in response to Amazon’s September request for proposals.” [Washington Business Journal]

Monday Properties Expands Local Portfolio — Monday Properties, a major property owner in Rosslyn, has acquired a pair of office buildings in Alexandria and Herndon. The properties are both near potential D.C. area landing spots for Amazon’s HQ2. However, Monday’s Rosslyn portfolio itself is being seriously considered for the second headquarters by the Seattle-based online giant. [Washington Business Journal]

New Tenant for 1812 N. Moore Street — “Monday Properties has found a neighbor for Nestle USA in Rosslyn. International health IT juggernaut Cerner Corp. has signed on for 38,000 square feet at 1812 N. Moore, according to Bisnow.” [Bisnow, Washington Business Journal]

Snagajob Rebrands as ‘Snag’ — “Eighteen years in, Snagajob is rebranding. The Arlington, Va.-based company that provides a platform to find jobs is now called Snag, CEO Peter Harrison said on Tuesday. With the rebrand comes a new product. The company plans to expand a platform that can help connect to on-demand shifts.” [Technically DC, Washington Business Journal]

Bunny Needs Foster Home — A bunny dubbed Cherry Blossom is in need of a foster home. “Cherry Blossom was found outside, cold, skinny, and urine-scalded — now she needs a friend to help her gain her strength back,” said the Animal Welfare League of Arlington via social media. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com March 26, 2018 at 7:10 pm 0

Though talk of wild turkey in Rosslyn may lead one to think of bros in hotel bars swigging high-proof bourbon, today it was the real, live thing.

A wild turkey was found waddling around a construction site in Rosslyn, leading to a response from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

An animal control officer was able to catch the male turkey, which was said to be “scared and very stressed.” A video posted on Facebook, below, captures the scene as the turkey was placed in a kennel before being brought back to AWLA’s shelter in Shirlington and then being released into the wild.

More from AWLA:

We checked him out, determined he was ok, and together with Arlington County Parks and Recreation’s Natural Resources Chief and his team, we released the turkey into a quiet patch of woods in North Arlington. We are so grateful we were able to help this beautiful bird get back to the wild!

The #RosslynTurkey is back where he belongs – in the wild! Earlier today we got a call about a turkey in the road in Rosslyn. On arrival, Officer Barker found a male wild turkey in a construction area, scared and very stressed. She was able to catch the turkey, and brought him back to the shelter so we could make sure he wasn’t hurt. We checked him out, determined he was ok, and together with Arlington County Parks and Recreation’s Natural Resources Chief and his team, we released the turkey into a quiet patch of woods in North Arlington. We are so grateful we were able to help this beautiful bird get back to the wild!

Posted by Animal Welfare League of Arlington on Monday, March 26, 2018

Rosslyn-based WJLA (ABC 7) captured video of the turkey before its capture:

https://twitter.com/ABC7News/status/978350727985758210

by ARLnow.com March 22, 2018 at 9:05 am 0

AWLA Rescues Kittens from Cold Night — Arlington animal control officers saved the lives of three small kittens found freezing in a window well Tuesday night. All three were placed in an incubator to warm up and are now in a foster home. [Facebook]

Steyer Town Hall Targets Trump, Dems — About 100 people attended a town hall meeting in Pentagon City Tuesday night in support of impeaching President Trump. While Trump was the main topic of conversation, the meeting’s organizer, billionaire Tom Steyer, also criticized Democrats, particularly those that would not vote for impeachment. [Washington Free Beacon]

Alington Company Expanding, Moving — “Arlington-based Bioinformatics Inc. has been very busy lately — moving, expanding and acquiring. A research and advisory firm for life science and diagnostic companies, Bioinformatics just moved from its home in Courthouse to a larger 8,000-square-foot headquarters at the top of Ballston Tower. The company plans to invest $175,000 and add 27 new jobs by April as part of the expansion.” [Washington Business Journal]

by ARLnow.com February 28, 2018 at 8:35 am 0

Major Orange and Silver Line Issues — Orange and Silver line Metro service has been restored but significant delays remain from an earlier disabled train at the Ballston station. [Washington Post, Twitter, Twitter]

Legislature Considering Expanding I-66 Tolls — Del. Tim Hugo (R), the state lawmaker who proposed a bill that would slash Arlington’s tax revenue from country clubs, is now also proposing legislation that would require I-66 to be tolled in both directions. “If you live in Arlington, D.C. or Maryland, and you are going to Tysons Corner or west, you pay no toll in the morning and you get a free ride home,” Hugo said. “We will even it out by getting some people in Arlington to pick up the freight.” [Washington Post]

County Board Members Lobby Against Country Club Bill — Both Libby Garvey (D) and John Vihstadt (I) were in Richmond yesterday to lobby against HB 1204, the bill that would provide a “windfall tax cut” for Arlington’s two country clubs. [Twitter]

Vegas Bunnies Arrive in Arlington — “Six furry, floppy-eared cottontails dubbed the ‘Las Vegas bunnies’ have arrived at an animal rescue center in Arlington after many others were poisoned in Nevada.” [Washington Post]

Arlington School Board Bill Passes — A state bill that would ensure that Arlington County has the legal standing to have an elected School Board, after questions arose about the School Board’s legality, has passed the state legislature and is now heading to Gov. Ralph Northam (D) for his signature. [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com February 16, 2018 at 9:30 am 0

Northside Social Sued by Songwriters — Clarendon cafe Northside Social is being sued by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for “unauthorized public performance of its members’ copyrighted musical works.” [Patch]

Phil Vassar Visits Animal Welfare League — “We had a special visitor at AWLA today: country music singer Phil Vassar stopped by the shelter today to meet three neonatal kittens that are named after his hit songs; Deputy Ray, Carlene, and Amazing Grace.” [Facebook]

Focus on Arlington’s School Resource Officers — The Arlington County Police Department has thirteen School Resource Officers, whose job it is to connect with and protect the 27,000 students at Arlington Public Schools. [WJLA]

Arlington’s First Black Firefighters Faced Hardships — “The first of Arlington County’s black firefighters — members of the Hall’s Hill Volunteer Fire Department and the paid men at Station No. 8 — grappled with taunts and inequities in the days of Jim Crow, according to Arlington Public Library records.” [Arlington Fire Journal]

Dems Want More Social Followers — Arlington Democrats are pushing for more social media followers, particularly on Facebook, with the goal of having the most followers of any Democratic organization in the Commonwealth. At last check, Albemarle County Democrats had more followers than Arlington. [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com February 2, 2018 at 5:05 pm 0

Who’s going to win the Super Bowl on Sunday?

If the the food bowl preferences of puppies at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington are any indicators, the New England Patriots are destined to beat the Philadelphia Eagles.

AWLA posted a video of the puppies making their decidedly unscientific prediction on the shelter’s social media accounts.

by ARLnow.com February 1, 2018 at 7:30 pm 0

Twenty-one pets, including 19 cats and two dogs, were removed from a home in Arlington with hoarding conditions.

Arlington animal control officers responded with police to the home on Thursday, Jan. 18 to execute a search warrant “in relation to potential cruelty and hoarding,” according to an Animal Welfare League of Arlington spokeswoman.

“The animal control team removed 21 animals — 19 cats and 2 dogs — and transported them to emergency veterinary facilities for care,” AWLA said Thursday. “Today in Arlington County General District Court, [Animal Control] Chief [Jennifer] Toussaint was awarded custody of 16 cats. The remaining animals — 3 cats and 2 dogs — will be returned to the owner pending a full property inspection by animal control.”

Toussaint issued the following statement about the situation to ARLnow.com.

The success of these types of operations rises and falls on the support from the county and community. So many hands have gone into the positive outcome for these animals. I would like to recognize a few of those individuals and agencies who stepped up with less than 48 hour notice to come to these animals’ aid.

First and foremost I would like to thank the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. From making space for them, to establishing isolation for the sick cats, to lending support staff on site for the warrant execution, and now ultimately taking on the care and placement of 16 cats. They come through time and time again for our team and the community’s animals in need and provide top-notch care and compassion to every animal that is in their care.

I would also like to thank the Arlington County Police Department and Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for their assistance and professionalism in this case from pre-warrant execution to the custody hearing.

Other assisting agencies and individuals include Michelle Welch with the Office of the Attorney General, Arlington Animal Hospital, Ballston Animal Hospital, Clarendon Animal Care, Caring Hands Animal Hospital, Kimberly Corcoran LVT, Adrienne Hergen, DVM, and Marnie Russ, foster volunteer.

by Chris Teale January 26, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

Anyone who wants their pet to get more followers on social media can learn how to do just that at a panel discussion next week.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington will host a panel discussion called “Insta-Pets: How To Make Your Pets Instagram Famous,” from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31 at its 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive headquarters.

Speaking will be the owners of some of the most popular animal Instagram accounts in the D.C. area, including Izzy the Chow, Sebastian and Luna, and Navy the Corgi.

“Is your dog the cutest thing since sliced bread, but they still only have 15 followers on Instagram?” organizers wrote. “Does your cat do more tricks than Penn & Teller, but only your mom and dad are seeing the amazing feats? Have you set up the cutest Instagram account ever for your animal, but you can’t get over your follower plateau? AWLA is here to help!”

Tickets are $15 and are available online.

Photo via Facebook

by Chris Teale January 8, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

An Arlington woman who looked after dogs in her home was forced to close late last year after a complaint from a neighbor.

A reader emailed to say that a woman she said was “the best dog boarder in Arlington” was closed after a neighbor “complained and effectively shut down her boarding business.”

The reader said she used the dog-boarding service Rover.com to connect with the sitter when she needed to go out of town. Rover.com describes itself as the “nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers,” and allows people to connect with others nearby who can help with their pets.

A spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Community, Planning, Housing and Development confirmed the closure at a house on S. Fenwick Street in Arlington Heights.

“The property owner admitted that she was operating a dog sitting business and that she had three adult dogs plus her own two adult dogs but was not able to obtain photos of the three adult dogs she was watching,” the spokeswoman said. “She informed the inspector that she was operating her business from a website called Rover.”

Such services could be illegal under Arlington County Code, which allows no more than three dogs per household. The only exception to that rule, per the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, is when the zoning administrator approves more and the home has a kennel license.

That could mean that more users of Rover.com in Arlington — there are nine sitters and walkers listed in the county on the website — are in breach of county code. In an email, the reader bemoaned the loss of a favorite service.

“This was the most lovely, family-run business you could imagine,” she said. “Kids at home helped look after the dogs. [They had] 112 repeat clients.”

by Chris Teale January 4, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

Twenty puppies and a few older dogs will arrive at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington on Sunday after being rescued from deplorable conditions in Mississippi.

In a Facebook post, AWLA said the dogs were kept in “near-freezing and near-starvation” before being saved by a rescue group. When the new dogs arrive Sunday (Jan. 7), AWLA said it is looking for foster families who can take care of them.

“We are looking for families that would be willing to welcome them into their hearts and homes,” AWLA wrote. “We need foster homes for a range of litters, from single puppies to a mom and her nine puppies. We know it’s a lot to ask, but with your help, we know we can give these puppies a chance at a new life.”

Anyone who applies to be a foster family must be able to come to AWLA’s headquarters at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive around noon on Sunday to pick them up, and commit to looking after them for up to six weeks.

Arlington community, we need your help! Twenty puppies (and a few mom dogs) will be arriving at AWLA on Sunday morning…

Posted by Animal Welfare League of Arlington on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Photos via Facebook

by Chris Teale November 7, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

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.”

Courtesy photos

by Chris Teale October 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Two raccoons tested positive for rabies this week in Arlington, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington announced Thursday evening.

The first was discovered in the 2000 block of Military Road in Cherrydale, and the second in the 2000 block of 6th Street S. in Penrose.

Pets were exposed to both rabid animals, AWLA said.

More from Susan Sherman, AWLA’s Chief Operating Officer:

Two raccoons found in Arlington County have tested positive for rabies this week. The first raccoon exposure occurred in the 2000 block of Military Road in the Cherrydale neighborhood. The second raccoon exposure occurred on the 2000 block of 6th St S in the Penrose neighborhood. Both exposures were to domestic pets.

The most important step pet owners can take to prevent rabies is to keep their pets’ rabies vaccinations current. If you are unsure of your pets’ vaccination status, please contact your veterinarian. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is hosting a low-cost rabies clinic this evening, October 26, 2017, from 6:30-8:30 for dogs and cats. Dogs must be on leash and cats must be secured in carriers, no appointment necessary. For more information on low-cost rabies/microchip clinics please visit https://www.awla.org/services/low-cost-rabies-and-microchip-clinics/.

Please do not approach wildlife. If an animal appears in distress or injured or if you or your pet has had contact with wildlife please contact Animal Control immediately at 703-931-9241. Keep dogs on leash while out in the community, including parks, at all times.

Rabies most commonly is spread from having direct contact with the saliva of a rabid animal. Those with potential exposure can be treated with human rabies immunoglobulin and rabies vaccinations to prevent rabies symptoms. Once a person develops symptoms, there is no effective treatment and the disease is fatal.  If the rabies vaccine is given before symptoms develop, however, this will effectively prevent rabies.

If you have questions or believe that you or your pet may have been exposed to wildlife, call (703) 228-5200 Option #1 and ask for the Nurse of the Day during business hours (Monday – Friday 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.) After hours call, (703) 228-5645 and leave a message with your name and phone number and your call will be returned within two hours.

by ARLnow.com October 20, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Arlington Man Killed in Md. Workplace Shooting — An Arlington man was among the three people killed in a workplace mass shooting near Baltimore on Wednesday. The family of the 53-year-old father of three says they forgive the accused shooter, who was later arrested in Delaware. [NBC Washington, WJLA, GoFundMe]

Marine Corps Marathon Preps Well Underway — This week workers have been setting up fencing, mile markers, signs, tents, TV camera towers, temporary no parking signs and making other preparations along the Marine Corps Marathon route in Arlington. [WJLA, Twitter]

Award for Arlington Animal Control Officer — Animal Welfare League of Arlington Chief of Animal Control Jennifer Toussaint has been named Virginia Animal Control Officer of the Year for “outstanding service in the field of animal care and control.” [Facebook]

Winter Outlook: Warmer for Arlington — The National Weather Service’s official U.S. Winter Outlook was released yesterday and predicts a warmer winter for Arlington and the D.C. area, with equal chances of more or less precipitation than usual. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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