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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
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.
“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
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.”
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…
Photos via Facebook
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 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/
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.
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
Now, a trash panda has gone where few have gone before: into someone’s bathtub.
A resident was surprised to find the frightened raccoon in her tub a few days ago. She called the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and an animal control officer was able to free the critter from the home.
More from an AWLA Facebook post, below.
This isn’t what most people expect to find in their bathtub in the morning! A few days ago, a local resident woke up and found this scared little guy in her tub (the home was undergoing attic repairs, so that’s likely how he got in). Luckily, she knew just what to do and called Animal Control, who safely removed the raccoon from the home and released him outside where he happily scampered off!
Photo via AWLA/Facebook
Samuel Wolbert is the new president and CEO at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
Prior to joining AWLA, Wolbert worked at a shelter near Lexington, Kentucky. Before that he was a legislative attorney for a nonprofit organization in Michigan.
“I am very thrilled to be here. I think we have a great organization. I look forward to continue working with the community to help grow it,” Wolbert told ARLnow.
The league’s former CEO, Neil Trent, had led the organization since 2010.
Wolbert currently has a dog and two cats and also has experience with fostering animals. He reports having a soft spot for senior animals and so-called bully breeds.
As far as his future goals for AWLA, Wolbert plans to start a monthly series highlighting the organization’s successes.
“I think the community can expect that we’ll continue to do what’s best for the animals and we’ll continue to improve the lives of animals, not just in the shelter but in the community,” Wolbert said.
AWLA is hosting an event next week for the public to meet the new CEO and mingle with other animal lovers. It will run from 5-8 p.m. on Tuesday (October 10) at New District Brewing Company (2709 S. Oakland Street). Those who are interested in attending can RSVP online for the free event.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington will host its second annual “Pints 4 Paws” beer festival next month.
The festival, from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, October 15 at Courthouse Plaza (2040 15th Street N.) will have unlimited craft beer tastings, food trucks and vendors offering animal-related goods and services.
Also included: a costume contest for dogs, with prizes including a stay at the Healthy Hound Playground, dog clothing from Winthrop Clothing Co. and tickets to an Ale & Asana yoga class with Beth Wolfe. Attendees can also play with some adoptable AWLA dogs.
Tickets cost $35 online and $40 on the door, with admission costing $10 for designated drivers and non-drinkers. Children under 12 are admitted for free. An option is also available for those who cannot attend to donate online. All proceeds from the event will benefit AWLA.
“What better way to celebrate the glory of autumn (cool temps, clear skies, hint of wood smoke in the air) AND support homeless animals?” organizers wrote.
Arlington County residents are now prohibited from keeping various “wild and exotic” animals as pets, including alligators, squirrels and skunks, but can keep non-venomous snakes and hedgehogs.
Anyone who already owns a banned animal will be grandfathered in but must immediately contact the Animal Welfare League of Arlington to register their pet. Current owners will then be able to legally keep their pets through the registry.
The County Board voted unanimously on Tuesday for the new restrictions, which take effect immediately. Anyone found in violation of the new rules could be fined up to $500 a day.
The following animals are banned, according to Arlington County.
- Non-human primates (monkeys, chimpanzees, etc.)
- Wolves or wolf hybrids
- Wild cats including hybrids (like bobcats, lynx and caracals)
- Ratites (flightless birds)
- Venomous snakes, venomous reptiles
- Any other warm-blooded mammal that can normally be found in the wild state
- Scorpions other than those in the Pandinus group, which are permitted
- Centipedes of the Scolopendra group
- The following spider groups: Latrodectus (widow spiders); Loxosceles (recluse spiders); Dipluridae (funnel-web spiders); Phoneutria (banana spiders aka wandering spiders); Ctenizidae (trap-door spiders); Sicarius (sand spiders); and Theraphosidae (tarantulas), except for Theraphosids native to North and South America and Brachypelma smithi (Mexican redknee tarantula), which are not permitted
Non-venomous snakes are not banned, but the Board set standards for care, handling and enclosures for snakes that weigh more than 25 pounds. That is a change from the previous iteration of the ban in March, which had intended to ban ownership of non-venomous snakes weighing more than 10 pounds.
Each snake must have a microchip and have an enclosure that prevents escape but allows freedom of movement within it.
“What began as a seemingly straightforward effort to ban exotic pets in Arlington became much more complex and nuanced as the process evolved,” County Board chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “Ultimately, through a lot of conversation with the community, we were able to adopt a Code amendment that reaches a practical balance of the input received from all sides and is enforceable.”
Rabbits, rats, mice, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, hedgehogs, sugar gliders and guinea pigs bred in captivity are permitted as pets. Also allowed as pets are all domestically bred or legally imported birds — other than flightless ratites — plus non-venomous snakes, non-venomous reptiles, amphibians and fish.
County staff said the decision aligns county and state law, and now allows local animal control officers to take actions that previously could only have been taken by state officers.
Photo No. 1: File photo via Facebook/Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Photo No. 2 courtesy Kelly.