81°Scattered Clouds

by Adrian Cruz — August 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

Firefighters with dog (Photo Courtesy ACFD)

Throughout the month of August, the Arlington County Fire Department will be holding a donation drive for pet supplies.

Dubbed Operation FirePaws, the inaugural pet supply drive will be raising donations on behalf of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

Items on the shelter’s need list include canned pet food, collars, toys, and office supplies. AWLA has requested no Milk Bones, boxed hard treats or handmade items.

The items can be dropped off at the following fire stations:

Donation bins will be in the lobby of each fire station and items can be dropped off from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Donations collected before August 27 will be presented to the AWLA at its Wags n Whiskers event in Shirlington however donations will be collected until August 31.

Photo Courtesy of ACFD

 

by ARLnow.com — July 25, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Ziina flower in the Four Mile Run community gardens (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Ultimate Frisbee at APS — The Arlington School Board is expected to vote to make Ultimate Frisbee an official co-curricular sport in middle schools and high schools. Arlington is already a hotbed of Ultimate play at the high school club level. It’s likely to be years before the sport is recognized by the Virginia High School League, the statewide intramural sports governing body. [InsideNova*]

Adoption Event Success at AWLA — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington reported 28 adoptions as part of the national Clear the Shelters pet adoption event over the weekend. [Twitter]

Development Before and After — A series of before and after photos, via Google Street View, show some of the more dramatic changes from the last decade of development in Arlington. [Rent Cafe]

Local White Supremacist Quoted — The Associated Press yesterday quoted Richard Spencer, a 38-year-old white supremacist who reportedly lives in Arlington and believes that African-Americans, Hispanics and Jews should be removed from the United States. Spencer, an alt-right figure, attended the Republican National Convention in support of Donald Trump. [Associated Press]

Few Proven Towing Violations — Out of 18,642 trespass tows in Arlington last year, only 7 — or 0.04 percent — were found by authorities to have violated local towing ordinances. [InsideNova*]

Watts Finishes Another Race — Jamie Watts, a fixture in the local running scene, has finished another race. Watts, who has cerebral palsy, completed Saturday night’s Crystal City Twilighter 5K despite sweltering conditions. [WUSA 9*]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley.

*Denotes website that employs pop-up ads, autoplay video or other disruptions to the user experience.

by ARLnow.com — June 30, 2016 at 10:10 am 0

A raccoon in a backyard (photo by Bastique via Wikipedia)This past weekend a woman and her dog were just minding their own business, sitting on the patio of their Fairlington home, when a raccoon and its two babies climbed over the patio fence.

The dog, naturally, went after the critters. The raccoon mom fought back. The woman tried to intervene to protect her dog. Her screams alerted neighbors, who found her bloodied with big gashes on her arm. Medics, police and animal control were called, and the woman was taken to the hospital for treatment and rabies shots.

“Our Animal Control officers were called about this situation, and responded to the location with the Police Department,” confirmed Animal Welfare League of Arlington spokeswoman Chelsea Lindsey. “They searched but could not find the raccoon. We think the raccoon may have had babies with her, and become protective when she was confronted by the dog and then the dog’s owner.”

The incident has some Fairlington residents on edge, wondering if such an attack could happen to them or their pets. The raccoon, after all, is still on the loose.

On Tuesday, July 5, at 7 p.m. AWLA will be holding a community meeting “to discuss and advise residents on interaction and conflicts with wildlife.” The meeting is being held at the Fairlington Villages Community Center (3005 S. Abingdon Street).

“This meeting is being held in light of the injury recently suffered by a resident resulting from an encounter with a raccoon,” says the event’s Facebook page.

Lindsey said that it’s somewhat rare for raccoons to attack dogs or humans, but it does happen.

In September 2013, ARLnow.com reported on a pregnant woman who was repeatedly bitten by an aggressive raccoon in her East Falls Church backyard, as her daughter watched in horror.

“We get reports of raccoons in altercations with dogs somewhat regularly, but contact with people is rare,” she said. “In the last 12 months we have had one other report of a raccoon bite to a person in Fairlington, and it was in August 2015.”

“Healthy raccoons are unlikely to pick a fight with a dog, but dogs sometimes chase them, and sick/injured raccoons and mothers protecting their young may fight back to defend itself,” Lindsey said. “AWLA highly recommends making sure to feed your dog inside (as food left outdoors can attract raccoons) and not to allow your dog in your yard or outdoors without immediate supervision. We also recommend that all dogs (and cats) have an up-to-date rabies vaccine, as is required by state law.”

“While raccoons are primarily nocturnal and residents won’t typically see them during the day, it is not that unusual for them to roam outside during the day looking for food or sunning themselves,” Lindsey added. “It is best to simply leave raccoons alone if you see them outside. However, if one appears to be sick (staggering, walking in circles, falling, biting itself, salivating heavily), injured or if you find a deceased raccoon on your property, we recommend calling Animal Control immediately so they can investigate.”

Photo by Bastique via Wikipedia

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

On Wednesday we reported that a cat and her kittens were living on top of Gunston Middle School. Today we’re happy to report that the kittens have been successfully removed from the roof.

After a bit of an impasse with Arlington Public Schools officials, yesterday animal control officers from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington were able to find a way to safely get to the roof, capture the kittens and get them back down from the roof.

AWLA detailed the process in a Facebook post last night.

We are happy to report that the kittens have been safely removed from the roof and are in our care here at the shelter!

We were made aware of this little family after a young student saw the kittens outside his classroom window and called the shelter. The mother cat was able to freely come and go from the flat roof, and had decided that it was the safest spot for her kittens!

Because the mother cat is feral, we needed to wait to remove her kittens until they were old enough to eat on their own and not rely on her for survival. Typically our officers do not climb onto roofs for safety reasons, but after we were informed that there was a secured ladder on the side of the building, the officers knew they had to help. And so Operation Roof Kitten Rescue began!

Officers Corcoran, Solano and Dispatcher Barrett were able to capture the fearful kittens in a net and transfer them to a carrier. They created a harness made of leashes so that Officer Solano could “wear” the carrier as she descended the ladder.

The kittens are now the perfect age for socializing: old enough to eat on their own, but young enough to learn to enjoy human contact. They will now go to a foster home until they are old enough and friendly enough for adoption. Thank you to everyone who assisted us in this rescue!

What will happen to the kittens’ mother? AWLA also answered that on the Facebook post.

When it comes to feral kittens there’s a delicate balance between leaving them with their mothers vs taking them into the shelter. If we leave them with the mother until they are completely grown and leave her on their own, they will be too old to socialize and adopt out – they will be feral like their mother, and then those kittens will grow and have more kittens of their own, leading to a larger and larger population of feral cats in the area. The officers and shelter staff feel that it’s in the best interests of the mother and kittens to remove them at this time. As stated above, the officers are looking options for the mother cat. We can assure you that the welfare of both the kittens and mother are what we are most concerned about.

by ARLnow.com — May 18, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

Gunston Middle SchoolArlington Public Schools and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington are trying to figure out how to get a cat and her kittens off of the roof of Gunston Middle School (2700 S. Lang Street).

The feline family recently took up residence on the school’s roof, apparently after the cat climbed a tree to get there.

Both APS and AWLA want to get the cat and kittens down from the roof, but are still formulating a plan for how to do it.

“We think that the mother cat is feral, and we want to capture the kittens while they are young enough to be socialized,” said AWLA’s Susan Sherman. “Once the kittens are old enough to get down from the roof on their own, they will likely be too old to socialize.”

Sherman said an AWLA animal control officer has been to the school “several times” to talk to officials from the school and the attached Gunston Community Center. One sticking point is deciding who’s going to go up on the roof. School workers don’t want to get attacked by the cat and animal control officers don’t want to play Spiderman.

“We offered to assist the school facilities people to set a humane trap on the roof, but they said the mother cat might attack them,” Sherman explained. “Our officers do not climb up on roofs. The part of the roof the cats are on is flat, and we requested access from classroom windows but the school facilities person told us the windows cannot be unscrewed or removed.”

“We are working on a plan to capture the kittens as soon as possible but want to do it in a way that is safe for the cats and people,” she said.

by ARLnow.com — May 10, 2016 at 10:20 am 0

Baby duck rescued from storm drain (Photo courtesy @AWLAArlington)

An Arlington animal control officer rescued six baby ducks from a storm drain Monday morning.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which provides animal control services in the county, announced the duckling rescue via Twitter yesterday.

Here’s what happened, according to AWLA’s Chelsea Lindsey.

Officer Corcoran was called out this morning for six ducklings who had fallen through the grates of a storm drain. Officer Corcoran was able to use a large net to get all six ducklings out of the water at the bottom. She put them in a crate and waited nearby for the mother to come back, but she never returned, so Officer Corcoran brought them back to the shelter and they were taken to a wildlife rehabber in Falls Church who will care for them until they are old enough to be released back into the wild.

Photo courtesy @AWLAArlington

by ARLnow.com — March 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

A raccoon in a backyard (photo by Bastique via Wikipedia)A dead raccoon found near Benjamin Banneker Park in East Falls Church has tested positive for rabies, the Animal Welfare League says.

The organization is asking anyone who has had contact — or whose pet has had contact — with the raccoon to call them.

From AWLA:

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington seeks information about any people or pets who may have had physical exposure to a raccoon that has tested positive for rabies. An animal control officer picked up a dead raccoon in the 1800 block of N. Underwood Street near Benjamin Banneker Park on March 21. When it was sent for testing, the raccoon was positive for rabies. We ask that anyone who may have had contact or whose pets may have had contact with any raccoon in that vicinity, please call the League at 703-931-9241.

by ARLnow.com — March 3, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

The Animal Welfare League in Arlington says a sick raccoon its animal control officer captured in North Arlington has tested positive for rabies.

AWLA is now seeking any person or pet who might have made contact with the raccoon. From AWLA:

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington seeks information about any people or pets who may have had physical exposure to a raccoon that has tested positive for rabies. After receiving calls on Sunday, February 28 about a sick raccoon, an animal control officer captured a sick looking raccoon in the 3700 block of N. Military Road near the Madison Community Center and dog park. The officer humanely euthanized the raccoon at the animal shelter and sent a sample for rabies testing. On March 1 the test report was positive. We ask that anyone who may have had contact or whose pets may have had contact with any raccoon in that vicinity, please call the League at 703-931-9241.

by ARLnow.com — February 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm 0

Peacock (Flickr photo by Sadie Hart)“Fowl running at large” is a local ordinance that doesn’t get used much nowadays, but it was enforced following an unusual incident near Columbia Pike over the weekend.

An animal control officer was called to an address on S. Barton Street on Saturday evening for a report of a runaway peacock. After a brief search, the officer found and captured the rogue peacock — and located its owner, who was issued a ticket for the aforementioned “fowl running at large” violation.

The peacock and its owner may have an even bigger problem than the “at large” charge, which is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $100.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which runs the animal control program, said they notified the county zoning department — which enforces the county’s prohibition on keeping fowl in most residential yards — about the incident.

Flickr photo by Sadie Hart

by ARLnow.com — February 3, 2016 at 6:35 pm 0

Arlington Forest Fox (Flickr pool photo)Arlington County animal control is seeking a man and a woman who may have been the victim of a rampaging fox.

According to an unnamed witness, a fox apparently attacked a couple pushing a stroller on N. Glebe Road in the Chain Bridge Forest neighborhood, near the northern tip of Arlington.

Animal control officers would like to talk to the victims and are trying to locate the fox.

From an Animal Welfare League of Arlington spokeswoman:

Arlington County Animal Control is seeking information regarding a fox incident that occurred Tuesday, 2/2/16 in the 4400 block of North Glebe Road at approximately 11am.

A witness saw a man and a woman with a stroller who may have been attacked by a fox in the street. The man tried to scare the fox away and may have been bitten. Animal Control has posted flyers in the neighborhood.

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact animal control immediately at 703-931-9241. In addition, if you see a fox acting abnormally in this area, please contact us.

A small cluster of fox attacks in the area close to the Arlington/McLean border have occurred. On Monday night two people were attacked by a fox on the Custis Trail at North Nelson Street.

Fairfax County police have also reported that a fox bit and scratched a woman in the 1400 block of Laburnum Street in McLean.

File photo

by Jennifer Currier — December 15, 2015 at 11:15 am 0

Pumpkin Pie missing in Arlington

Update at 11 a.m. Wednesday — Pumpkin Pie was found last night after authorities were able to act on a tip quickly enough to catch her near an apartment building in south Arlington.

Harry Puente-Duany thanked the ARLnow.com readers for their support and help in finding Pumpkin Pie so quickly after this article was published. He said except for some scrapes and her being a bit underweight, Pumpkin Pie is healthy and safe at home.

Earlier: An Arlington resident is asking the community to keep their eyes out for his dog, which went missing more than a week ago.

Pumpkin Pie is a seven-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix who ran away from her home near Virginia Square last Sunday evening, Dec. 6. She has a white and light brown coat and is described as very timid.

According to her owner, Harry Puente-Duany, Pumpkin Pie was first spotted north of his home toward Lee Highway and Old Dominion Drive on the night she ran away. Since then, sightings have been reported in parts of South Arlington.

Most recently, Pumpkin Pie was seen on Sunday afternoon in Claremont near the Four Mile Run Trail.

“We’re kind of stuck right now praying for another lead,” Puente-Duany said. “She’s on the move, but we don’t know where she’s headed.”

Puente-Duany rescued Pumpkin Pie about five years ago from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington shelter. He added she can be finicky and very afraid of people because her previous owner treated her poorly.

Despite his dog being missing for several days, Puente-Duany is staying optimistic.

“The fact that we’ve continued to have sightings has helped me to remain hopeful,” he said. “It makes be believe she’s still out there, on the move and safe, for the most part. She could be going anywhere next, but I’m trying to continue to keep the faith.”

Puente-Duany said all the sightings so far have been reports of Pumpkin Pie running down a street or through wooded areas, suggesting she’s scared and spending most of her time running away or hiding out of sight.

He asks that anyone who sees Pumpkin Pie doesn’t chase her or call after her, or risk scaring her more or encouraging to run further away.

“If possible, give us a call and try to keep an eye on her,” he added. “People have been very active doing that so far, but it’s been hard to keep track of her. I’m still amazed by the amount of support from people in Arlington, giving me suggestions and letting me know they’re on the lookout. It’s been so encouraging.”

If anyone sees Pumpkin Pie, they can call Puente-Duany at 301-467-0433 or Animal Control at 703-931-9241.

by ARLnow.com — August 3, 2015 at 10:15 am 1,316 0

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.”

by ARLnow.com — July 8, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,584 0

"Backyard garden thief" (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Wellington Buyer Wants to Build — Washington REIT, which just purchased The Wellington apartments on Columbia Pike, has plans to build a new, 360-unit building on the property, perhaps atop the 711-unit complex’s large surface parking lot. [Bisnow]

GMU: Housing Crunch Coming — The D.C. area is not building housing fast enough to accommodate new residents and jobs, according to a report by the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis. By 2023, there will be 226,380 fewer housing units in Greater Washington than needed to house those moving to area, thus forcing people to move farther away from the city. [Washington Business Journal]

Nauck Community Portraits Exhibit — A new exhibition space in the Arlington County Cultural Affairs offices at 3700 Four Mile Run Drive is hosting “three-dimensional biographies” of Nauck community leaders created by Drew Elementary students. The “Nauck Community Portraits” exhibit was inspired by a new book about the historic African-American community. [InsideNova]

AWLA Placement Rate on the Rise — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington says it’s successfully placing shelter animals with new homes at a rate of 95 percent, exceeding national standards. It’s up from 76 percent in 2010, when Neil Trent took over as director of the organization. [Patch]

by ARLnow.com — June 24, 2015 at 11:45 am 1,962 0

Three dogs that had been set for slaughter at a meat farm in South Korea are now alive and well in Arlington, thanks to the Humane Society and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

The dogs first came to Arlington in January, part of a group of 23 that had been rescued by the Humane Society International and sent to D.C. area shelters. Now, two have been adopted and the other is still with AWLA, hoping to find a loving home soon.

AWLA provided an update on how the three are doing in their new environments.

Abi, a one-year-old female Corgi/Cattle Dog mix, was recently adopted by first time-dog owners Jackie and DJ Woodell. AWLA spokeswoman Kerry McKeel described Abi as “a beguiling blend of shy and wiley.”

Abi has also proven to be quite the escape artist; while at AWLA, McKeel said Abi would amuse herself by escaping through a weak spot in the fence of her enclosure and wandering the corridors. Abi’s new owners report that in her new home, she’s learned to unlatch her own crate and let herself out to explore.

All in all, “she’s pleasantly surprised everyone with her smooth transition to Easy Street,” said the Woodells.

Billy, a one-year-old Lhasa Apso/Poodle mix, was chipper and cuddly after coming to the shelter and was adopted within days.

Described as “a gregarious curly haired lapdog mix with a pronounced underbite and pleading eyes,” Billy was “well adjusted and ‘normal’ that he had us at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington convinced he was someone’s pet who’d been snatched off the street.”

Hope, a female Korean Jindo mix, is waiting to be adopted and currently living with a foster-guardian from K-9 Divine. McKeel said that Hope came to AWLA skittish and hyper vigilant, but seems to have found solace in companionship with the other dogs.

Hope spends her days at an off-leash daycare facility where she plays with the other dogs and goes home with Rachel Jones, her foster-guardian, at night. Jones reports that Hope has made great progress since living with her, and thinks she would make a wonderful pet for anyone willing to take the time to let her warm up to them.

Hope is available for adoption at AWLA’s website.

Photos courtesy Shelley Castle Photography

by ARLnow.com — June 3, 2015 at 9:15 am 1,020 0

Blue Jay in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

AWLA Cats Star in Movie Trailers — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is releasing a mock movie trailer each week this month starring their very own cats. The adoptable felines will then be given the star treatment at the shelter. “Guests who visit AWLA each Friday in June will be invited to walk the ‘Paw of Fame,’ enjoy some popcorn and take a photo with one of the starring ‘caters’ or ‘catresses’ or to take one home for free,” The first trailer is set to a “Jurassic World” theme. [Facebook]

Arlington Sells $77 Million in Bonds — Arlington County issued $77 million worth of bonds Tuesday, at an average interest rate of 2.8 percent. “Our Triple-AAA rating has helped ensure the lowest interest rates possible, ensuring taxpayer dollars for bond funded projects are used as effectively as possible,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a press release. [Arlington County]

Sierra Club Endorses Fallon — Peter Fallon has picked up a key environmental endorsement ahead of the June 9 Democratic County Board primary. The Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed Fallon, saying he has “a long history of community activism,” is “well versed in the environmental issues facing the County” and is “a strong supporter of [Arlington’s] Community Energy Plan.” Though there are two open County Board seats, the group said it “opted to only endorse one candidate.”

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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