A very bold and very lost chicken was “caught sneaking around the security area at the Pentagon” early Monday morning.
The adventurous bird was nabbed by Arlington animal control officers, who were called in to help the headquarters of the world’s most powerful military with its poultry problem.
More on what happened from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington:
Apparently, the answer to “why did the chicken cross the road” is…. to get to the Pentagon?! Very early this morning, this chicken was caught sneaking around the security area at the Pentagon (we’re not kidding) and our officers were called to come pick her up. Sgt Ballena brought her safely to the shelter where she’ll stay until we find a new home for her! Now we need a name for her — suggestions welcomed!
Naturally, plenty of people had thoughts on social media about the military’s most wanted chicken and what it should be named.
I mean, chicken found on the military installation… I suggest Colonel Sanderson
— MisterJay (@jrasz) February 1, 2022
— Christie St. Clair (@ChristieStClair) February 1, 2022
Chairhen of the joint cheeps of staff
— Kara Smigel (@KaraSmigel) February 1, 2022
Ooooh that’s a good one
— AWLArlington, VA (@AWLAArlington) January 31, 2022
Another good one!
— AWLArlington, VA (@AWLAArlington) January 31, 2022
It's probably not a joke that this chicken will prompt Congress to increase Department of Defense spending by $12 billion. https://t.co/W2ndv6p45X
— Martin Austermuhle (@maustermuhle) January 31, 2022
A black coyote was sighted near Lubber Run this week, and she may have pups.
While sighting the shy canine is relatively rare, the dark fur of the Arlington Forest coyote is a touch more uncommon. Its coloration is what helped the Animal Welfare League of Arlington identify she was not new to the area.
One Arlington Forest resident called the AWLA, which runs the county’s animal control operation, to report a sighting on Monday, and said the coyote had pups in tow, although officers couldn’t locate her or the young to confirm. On Tuesday, an ARLnow reader Amy Cocuzza caught her on camera in the neighborhood.
Cocuzza reached out to a USDA wildlife specialist, who said the Arlington Forest coyote’s dark fur is uncommon but not rare. Coyotes in the East have tremendous color variation.
AWLA’s Chief of Animal Control Jennifer Toussaint tells ARLnow the Arlington Forest coyote is not the only dark coyote she’s seen in Arlington. She saw her first on Route 110 near Memorial in 2013. She compared the uncommon coloration — known as melanism — to that of the more prevalent black squirrel.
She said the coyote Cocuzza saw is likely female and they became aware of her in Arlington Forest last year.
Previous coyote sightings reported by ARLnow were all of a grey or lighter brown colored canine. A coyote was spotted multiple times wandering around in the Fairlington area in 2020. Coyotes have also been seen moseying along Washington Blvd, and in Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Lubber Run and Cherrydale. In 2014, a coyote was struck by a car near Arlington National Cemetery.
Toussaint called coyotes “highly adaptable opportunists” and said they thrive living near people in suburban and urban settings like Arlington where scavenging for food is easy — taking advantage of pet food or trash left out. But she said the presence of a coyote, which can be active both day and night, isn’t cause for alarm. In fact, there are some benefits like free rodent control.
“Urban coyotes are born right in our neighborhoods and are generally familiar with us, our pets, and our routines,” she said. “Occasionally, a curious coyote may need to be reminded to be wary of people, especially if someone has been feeding them, which is not advised or legal.”
Toussaint recommends “hazing” techniques, such as clapping your hands, raising your voice, blowing a whistle or shaking an aluminum can with pennies inside. She said, while coyotes don’t pose a risk to humans, they should never be handled and pets should be monitored closely and kept current on rabies vaccines.
“We don’t see many interactions or conflicts between coyotes and people or pets, but when we do, it’s usually because someone was startled, so it’s a good idea to practice hazing techniques before allowing a pet in your yard, as well,” she said.
Arlington’s Natural Resource Manager Alonso Abugattas writes that “the Eastern coyote is bigger than those in the West, about the size of a border collie or even German Shepherd, often between 45 to 55lbs” with males usually larger than the females.
The USDA specialist suggested to Cocuzza that the black coyote may be wandering out because it’s their mating season, and “they do tend to be more bold and wander out at this time.”
Hat tip to Amy Cocuzza
A group of Virginia Square and Ballston residents are looking to get a dog park established in their neighborhood.
The neighbors want a fenced-in area for their pets to play off-leash at Quincy Park and are eyeing some sparsely-used green space near the sand volleyball court, says organizer Lori Meyers.
“We are asking for something very simple: some fence and a green space,” Meyers said. “The dogs need to get out and exercise.”
Arlington County doesn’t have enough dog parks to meet the needs of local dog owners, according to the Public Spaces Master Plan adopted in 2019. Dog owners and Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation say the pandemic may have exacerbated that need, as more people adopted dogs during the pandemic and, with the rise of telework, are more able to take them out for exercise.
Organizers say they intend to collect the money needed to build a fence and install a dog waste station.
The newest dog park effort comes as owners say their dogs aren’t able to get enough exercise locally, while the parks department and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington note that complaints of off-leash dogs and dog waste on athletic fields have risen over the last year.
“We’re going to try and get this park created and solve the problems,” Meyers said.
Meyers says the nearest dog park in Clarendon is not walkable and is not popular among her neighbors. She added that a few dogs have needed veterinarian attention after playing in the water features at the park, which has had maintenance issues in the past.
At the more convenient Quincy Park, dogs cannot use the grass field over concerns of dog waste, and — as with all county parks — going off-leash is not allowed outside of designated dog runs and parks, a longstanding county rule. Additionally, Meyers said she and the other dog owners avoid other parts of the park where food gets left out for squirrels.
For a while, dog owners dropped their leashes on the field anyway because it is the only fenced-in part of the park and thus the safest place for dogs to run, Meyers said. She noted that owners were careful to pick up pet waste, so that the student and recreational athletes who use the field don’t get an unwelcome surprise while diving for a ball.
Going off-leash waned after Animal Control officers upped patrols at Quincy Park, she said, adding that officers have recently taken pictures of dog owners and called them out for having leashes that are too long.
“When we have responded to these types of concerns, such as in Quincy Park, we have found large groups of pet owners meeting up in the field/athletic space and letting their dogs off leash,” said Jennifer Toussaint, the animal control chief for AWLA. “One pet owner does it, so another does, and then on. Suddenly community members no longer feel safe bringing their children to the park to play.”
While dog park supporters say a dedicated facility for their pups would resolve these issues, Kalish says that’s not the only way to improve this situation.
“The best solution to keep dogs and people safe in Arlington is to follow the rules,” she said.
A rooster has been nabbed by Arlington animal control after a brief stint on the lam.
Yesterday morning, county animal control officers picked up a rooster that was found wandering near Lubber Run Park, southwest of Ballston, and brought it to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
The rooster appeared healthy and was found “running in the front and back yards of the houses that backed up [to] Lubber Run,” according to the responding animal control officer.
The rooster will be kept at AWLA during the stray period (typically, five to seven days) where its caretaker can come to claim the bird.
If no one claims it, the organization will find a “specialized sanctuary farm” for the rooster, AWLA Chief Animal Control Officer Jen Toussaint tells ARLnow.
Wandering flightless birds are a common occurrence in Arlington, notes Toussaint, with animal control officers bringing in a decent number every year.
While roosters (and other fowl, like chickens, ducks, turkeys, patridges) are technically legal in Arlington County, there are strict restrictions on where the birds can go and how they can be housed.
“All poultry here in Arlington must be kept in enclosures more than 100 feet from property lines,” Toussaint says. “Given this restriction many residences do not meet the requirement to have backyard chickens.”
Additionally, it’s illegal for fowl to “trespass” onto county-operated property or land owned by another individual. In other words, this fowl was likely running afoul of county law.
Toussaint also warns — for those considering it — that keeping poultry in the backyard requires a whole lot of work, time, and preparation.
“Raising chickens is not easy and they need time, attention, and routine care. If you plan on going on vacations it’s not as easy to find a ‘pet sitter’ for an entire coop of chickens,” Toussaint says.
Chickens graze, so soil testing should be done since urban areas could have high mercury and lead levels. These heavy metals could be found in the eggs the chickens produce which can be harmful if ingested, particularly by young children.
Another common issue that AWLA finds is that too many chickens are being kept in coops that are too small. The birds need, at minimum, a four by four feet of space, Toussaint notes. Too tight quarters increases the risk of disease transmission, including salmonella and E. Coli.
What’s more, roosters and chickens don’t exactly make for great neighbors. They can be loud and their manure can smell, says Toussaint. Chickens can attract rodents and be prey for hungry foxes as well as wander into roadways and become traffic hazards.
“Please own [chickens] responsibly,” says Toussaint. ” We regularly find them at large and loose in backyards outside of enclosures. Not only is this against county code but it is not neighborly or safe for the chickens.”
Hat tip to Michael Thomas
Ballston Building to Be Renovated — “Arlington’s Monday Properties has made two new office building acquisitions as it banks on workers across the market returning to their offices in the coming months. The commercial property owner and developer has purchased the former home of CACI International’s headquarters, Three Ballston Plaza at 1100 N. Glebe Rd. — for $118 million. The 330,000-square-foot property, one of the most prominent in Ballston, will get a Gensler-designed renovation to help it compete in the modern commercial office environment.” [Washington Business Journal]
Rescued Dog Seeking New Home — “[Several] weeks ago, a young, mixed breed dog was rescued after being trapped between two fences alongside I-395. Since then, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which renamed the dog “Benito,” has been helping him feel happier and more confident. ‘We were unable to find Benito’s owner, so he’s looking for a new family to call his own.'” [Patch]
Local Shops Offer ‘Passport’ — “On Small Business Saturday 2021, November 27th, Arlington and Falls Church shoppers will get a chance to participate in a shopping ‘Passport’ program to discover unique shops, find deals, keep their shopping dollars local and be eligible to win prizes. Led by One More Page Books, the Passport enables shoppers who are looking to participate in the national #shoplocal effort to easily discover small businesses near them.” [Press Release]
MLK Contest for Students Now Open — “Arlington Public Schools students are invited to take part in the annual ‘Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Literary and Visual Contest.’ Entries are due by 5 p.m. Thu, Dec. 16.” [Arlington Public Schools]
VFW Post in Va. Square Profiled — “7News’ Ashlie Rodriguez discovered a little-known secret, tucked away in Arlington, Virginia, where hundreds of veterans gather, swap stories, share memories, and find a place of refuge. Here’s a look inside the John Lyon VFW Post 3150.” [WJLA]
State Tax Coffers Are Overflowing — “Virginia budget officials say they’ve never seen anything like it — more than $13 billion in additional state revenues this year and in the next two fiscal years. The House Appropriations Committee projects a $3.5 billion increase in revenue above the current forecast in the fiscal year that began July 1, based on higher pending forecasts of state income tax and other revenues in the pair of budgets that Gov. Ralph Northam will present to the General Assembly next month.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
It’s Thursday — Today will start off sunny and warm, with a high near 73, before a rainy evening. Southwest wind 7 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Sunrise at 6:54 a.m. and sunset at 4:52 p.m. Tomorrow will be sunny, breezy and cooler, with a high near 50. Northwest wind 10 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. [Weather.gov]
There was a rabid raccoon on the loose in Arlington that came into contact with a number of dogs.
Last week, Arlington animal control responded to an incident involving multiple dogs and a raccoon at the heavily-visited Shirlington Dog Park at 2710 S. Oakland Street.
The raccoon was removed and, later, tested clinically positive for rabies — a disease that both humans and animals can get from a scratch or a bit from an infected animal.
— AWLArlington, VA (@AWLAArlington) November 2, 2021
This is not the first time in recent memory a rabid animal has threatened Arlington humans and their furry best friends. In May, a potentially rabid fox bit two people near Lacey Woods Park. In February and March, a rabies outbreak in raccoons had pet owners thinking about their own quarantine for their animals.
Animal control is asking residents to make sure their pets are up to date on their vaccines, to keep dogs on a leash and cats inside, to feed pets inside and not to approach wildlife. The department is also asking residents to remove wildlife attractants, such as compost and unsecured garbage cans, from their yards.
“If you, your child, or your pet may have come into contact with any wild animals including bats or raccoons, please call Arlington County Animal Control at 703-931-9241 immediately,” the Animal Welfare League of Arlington said in a message posted on social media. “It is fatal if medical care is not given promptly.”
“Arlington County Animal Control is also urging residents to remain vigilant and if they see any animal that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive to stay away from the animal and call Animal Control immediately,” AWLA said. “If you come across a deceased rabies vector animal (including cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, and groundhogs) in your yard or a public space please do not handle the animal and contact Animal Control promptly.”
Photo via Jonnelle Yankovich/Unsplash
A dog is lucky to be alive after getting caught in a fence along I-395.
Animal control officers from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington rescued the petrified pup from along the busy highway earlier today. A video and account of the rescue was posted on social media.
Chief Toussaint and Officer [Elpers] made a life-saving rescue today, after this terrified dog somehow got himself stuck between two fences right next to interstate 395.
Chief Toussaint had to cut the fence with bolt-cutters to get to him, and after trying treats and a few other methods, put dog food on her slip lead, waiting for him to start eating, and then slowly slipped the leash over his head. In total it took about an hour and half to get the dog safely into a crate, all the while traffic was roaring by right next to them.
The dog is now safe and sound here at AWLA while we look for his family. We are so grateful to Chief Toussaint and Officer Elpers for getting this dog to safety!
Chief Toussaint and Officer sellers made a life-saving rescue today, after this terrified dog got himself stuck between two fences next to interstate 395. He is now safe and sound here at AWLA while we look for his family! pic.twitter.com/ZVMt2cxwVS
— AWLArlington, VA (@AWLAArlington) October 20, 2021
APS Enrollment Down — “Despite intensive efforts to get them back, Arlington Public Schools has about 4 percent fewer students in class than it did pre-pandemic, according to new figures. Superintendent Francisco Durán on Oct. 14 said the school system’s official count for the 2021-22 school year is 26,911 students, based on enrollment Sept. 30 that will be submitted to state officials as is required by law. That’s down slightly from the 26,932 students reported on hand at the start of classes in August.” [Sun Gazette]
Update on Metro Woes — “While Metro aims to provide service consistent with the announced basic service plan through the rest of the week, customers should anticipate trains every 15-20 minutes on the Red Line and every 30-40 minutes on all other lines to account for any unplanned disruptions. There is currently no capacity to fill unforeseen gaps, which will result in longer wait times. Crews are working as quickly as possible to put more trains into service.” [WMATA]
County: Update Your Bookmarks — “With the launch of our new website, your favorite page or service has a new home! While we have redirect links for our most visited and discussed pages, we couldn’t do it for all 5,000+ pages. But the content you want is still there!” [Arlington County, Twitter]
Birds Banging into Arlington Windows — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “We’re starting to see a lot of migratory birds come into the shelter, likely due to hitting windows as they fly. But we are here to help! This little Golden-Crowned Kinglet stayed with us overnight before heading off to a licensed rehabber this morning!” [Twitter]
IPO for Local Multinational Company — “Renewable energy storage firm Fluence Energy Inc said on Tuesday it is aiming to fetch a nearly $4 billion valuation in its U.S. initial public offering, as investor interest in such technologies soars alongside growing calls to limit climate change… Arlington, Virginia-based Fluence serves major utilities, developers, as well as commercial and industrial businesses, promising increased efficiency through its digital platform designed for renewables.” [Reuters]
Event to Mark Genocide Anniversary — “November 4, 2021 will mark exactly one year to the day that the Ethiopian & Eritrean regimes waged a devastating and ongoing genocide on the people of Tigray. You are welcome to visit our Arts & Photo Exhibition ‘Call It A Genocide’ which runs from November 5 to 7, 2021 at the ECDC in Arlington.” [Eventbrite]
Halloween Bike Ride for Families — “The Kidical Mass Arlington Halloween ride is BACK! Meet Sun 10/24 4pm at Zitkala’Sa (nee Clay) Park Costumes and decorations encouraged! Enjoy some pizza from our friends @TrekBikes Clarendon after the ride.” [Twitter, Facebook]
It’s Wednesday — ☀️ It’s another sunny day today, with a high near 76. West wind 5 to 7 mph. Sunrise at 7:23 a.m. and sunset at 6:22 p.m. Tomorrow is will be sunny, with a high near 78.
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The National Landing Oktoberfest is making a comeback next weekend in Crystal Cit.
The event will feature German beer and food and some more unique local traditions, like dog-themed events tied in with the event’s support for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA).
The Oktoberfest is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 2 in the Lidl parking lot at the intersection of Crystal Drive and 33rd Street S. The event is free to attend, and drink purchases at the event will benefit AWLA. The event is scheduled to be held rain or shine, and tickets are non-refundable.
“From live bands and crisp German Lagers to a Barktoberfest dog-run for pup-friendly activities and a variety of games to entertain all ages, this event has a little something for everyone,” the National Landing Business Improvement District (BID), host of the event, said on the event’s website. “So, break out your lederhosen, and come enjoy the fall weather, as well as a variety of food trucks and vendors serving traditional (and not-so-traditional) German fare.”
The National Landing BID and the AWLA are co-hosting the event with local brewery New District Brewing.
Pre-registration is required and there is an attendance cap in place for the event. Attendees will also have to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within the preceding 48 hours. Unvaccinated attendees and children under 12 will be required to wear a mask.
Photo via National Landing BID/Facebook
Firefighters Recount 9/11 Horror — “Arlington County firefighter Matthew Herrera was racing to a call for an apartment fire in Rosslyn, Virginia, 20 years ago, when his crew was rerouted. Their new destination: the Pentagon, for a report of a plane down in the area. It was Sept. 11, 2001. Herrera, now a captain, struggled to get through piles of debris inside the building, right where the plane had hit, to fight the blaze. ‘The first time I fell, I got up real quick and I remember (thinking), ‘I hope I’m not stepping on somebody.’ And I knew that I probably was,’ Herrera told WTOP.” [WTOP]
More Recollections of Sept. 11 — “What they encountered was catastrophic, unprecedented and unforgettable. ‘There was just one piece of the plane I could see,’ recalls Scott, who today holds the rank of Captain II with Arlington Fire/EMS. ‘It was the letter C, from American Airlines.’ Along with countless other responders, Scott spent hours working to suppress the fire raging on the Pentagon’s west side.” [Arlington Magazine, WJLA, NBC 4]
Car Break-ins Around Arlington Ridge — “2300 block of S. Arlington Ridge Road / 1200 block of Oakcrest Road. At approximately 9:52 a.m. on September 3, police were dispatched to the report of multiple larcenies from auto. The investigation determined that between 10:30 p.m. on September 2 and 9:52 a.m. on September 3, the unknown suspect(s) entered approximately four vehicles and rummaged through them. A variety of tools and personal items were reported stolen from the victim vehicles.” [ACPD]
First Hurricane Dog Adopted at AWLA — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “Over the weekend, the first of our Louisiana dogs was adopted! We think Milo is very happy with his new family . More of the dogs from Louisiana will be available in the coming days/weeks so keep an eye on our website!” [Twitter]
Yorktown Football Undefeated So Far — “When it come to his team’s execution on offense, Bruce Hanson is hard to please. The longtime head coach of the Yorktown Patriots has a 2-0 football team already this fall that has scored 19 and 43 points in each of those high-school contests. Yet Hanson isn’t satisfied with what he says is sloppy and uneven performances, including during Yorktown’s 43-17 blowout of visiting Wilson on Sept. 2.” [Sun Gazette]
A Capital Problem Along Route 50 — “@VaDOTNOVA: Please fix the capitalization error on this sign. Should read ’14th Street,’ not ’14Th Street.’ Has annoyed me for years. On WB Arlington Blvd (US 50) near the Marine Corps Memorial.” [Twitter]
Apartment Rents Bounce Back — “It took a little while, but average rents for Arlington apartments have now shot past pre-pandemic levels, according to new data. With median rent prices of $2,013 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,437 for two bedrooms, Arlington is among 92 of the nation’s 100 largest urban communities that has seen rents return to, or exceed, levels of March 2020, when the pandemic hit.” [Sun Gazette]
Ballston Resident Creates Bourbon Brand — “I Bourbon is one Arlingtonian’s ode to this classic American whiskey. Now, if he could just get it on store shelves.” [Washington Business Journal]
Reston to Crystal City Bus Proposed — “One of two projects proposed by Fairfax County, the new express bus service would connect Fairfax Connector’s Reston South Park and Ride lot with key employment destinations in Arlington County, including the Pentagon and Pentagon City and ending in Crystal City. The county is seeking $5.1 million to cover two years of operating costs for the service as well as the purchase of six buses.” [Reston Now]
AWLA Takes in Louisiana Pets — “A special delivery arrived Wednesday afternoon at Manassas Regional Airport: a plane carrying more than 100 pets that were evacuated from the Louisiana hurricane zone ahead of Ida’s arrival earlier this week. As the plane landed, rescue organizations from throughout the D.C. area were standing by to take the animals in. ‘There were mostly dogs, but also a few cats in the mix,’ said Samantha Snow with the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.” [WJLA]
Student Housing May Become Hotel — “Marymount University is moving to convert some of its recently acquired student housing in Ballston into hotel rooms, giving its hospitality program a boost in the process. The Arlington university filed documents with county planners Tuesday seeking permission to convert as much as half of the 267-unit residential building at 1008 N. Glebe Road into a hotel. Marymount has operated the building, dubbed The Rixey, as housing for students, faculty and staff since buying it back in 2019.” [Washington Business Journal]