Arlington, VA

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is hoping to fuel a discussion about dog sled races with a protest tomorrow at a local gas station.

PETA is planning a protest, starting at noon on Thursday, at the Exxon station on the corner of Old Dominion Drive and Military Road in Cherrydale. At issue: ExxonMobil’s support of the Iditarod dog race in Alaska.

“Because ExxonMobil continues to pump money into the deadly Iditarod dog race even as other sponsors have pulled out, PETA supporters armed with yellow caution tape and ‘blood’-filled gas jugs will ‘close’ a local ExxonMobil station for cruelty tomorrow,” the organization said in a media advisory this afternoon.

The action follows another PETA protest, in September, at ExxonMobil’s Texas headquarters.

More on why the Iditarod is worthy of protest, even as far away as Arlington, according to PETA:

“ExxonMobil has the shameful distinction of being one of the last major companies still sponsoring the Iditarod’s cruelty to dogs,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging it to stop propping up an evil industry that forces dogs to run so far and so fast that they often die after inhaling their own vomit.

Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Alaska Airlines, and many other companies cut ties with the race after PETA pointed out that more than 150 dogs have died in the Iditarod since it began. In addition to being tied up on mushers’ properties (as revealed in this PETA exposé), dogs are forced to pull heavy sleds across 1,000 miles through blinding blizzards and subzero temperatures.

More than 220 dogs were pulled off the trail during the 2020 race because of exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes. One, Cool Cat, developed twisted intestines and almost died. Another, Betty, had pneumonia and was in critical condition, and two others refused to eat and had fevers, diarrhea, and persistent coughs.

Photo courtesy of PETA

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Morning Notes

Courthouse Wendy’s Project Changing — “A new developer appears to be taking over a Carr Properties’ project in Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood, queuing up a switch from office to residential in the process. Greystar Real Estate Partners filed new plans with Arlington County earlier this month for a triangular parcel at the confluence of Clarendon and Wilson boulevards… [for] a 16-story residential building with 225 units above 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.” [Washington Business Journal]

Opera at Local Farmers Market — Two operatic performance will be held at the Crystal City farmers market this afternoon. The Washington National Opera performances will take place from a converted moving truck. [Facebook, WUSA 9]

Airports See Big Revenue Drop — “The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has seen its year-to-date revenue from airlines decline more than 23 percent, according to new figures, with revenue from sources indirectly related to aviation service declining 46 percent.” [InsideNova]

Dog Hit By Car Gets Second Chance — Thanks to efforts by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and three other groups, a puppy named Cash had a broken leg, suffered after being struck by a car, saved from amputation. [Facebook]

Alexandria Releases Contact Tracing Info — Alexandria just released an analysis of its contact tracing findings, showing the most common recent activities reported by those diagnosed with COVID-19. Among the top activities reported by COVID patients: living with someone who contracted the disease and going to a workplace. Relatively few reported recently dining outdoors. Arlington has yet to release similar information. [City of Alexandria, Twitter]

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After an eventful week of roaming North Arlington, Hannah the Australian Cattle Dog mix was recently returned to her foster human.

It took dozens of neighbors, Homeward Trails Animal Rescue and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington to bring her home. The two organizations canvassed neighborhoods, put up fliers and relied on sightings from community members to set humane traps.

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue Deputy Director Rebecca Goodhart credits Hannah’s safe return to vigilant neighbors and the hard work of animal control officers. The Aussie mix occupied the forefront of many neighbors’ minds, with Arlingtonians talking about Hannah everywhere Goodhart looked for her.

“The community was tremendous reporting sightings and asking how they could help, and spreading the word to friends,” Goodhart said. “It was awesome.”

A nervous dog, Hannah was likely stressed and scared after transitioning to living in a house in Arlington, Goodhart said.

Hannah had squeezed past her foster owner and bolted on Oct. 6, just a few days after she was placed in her new foster home, she said. Over the next week, she followed her water source — small streams — through neighborhoods and parks.

Many Arlingtonians kept tabs on the saga through Nextdoor, the private neighborhood networking platform. Users reported seeing her in Rivercrest, Bellevue Forest, Woodmont and Gulf Branch, posting updates and photos whenever they saw Hannah.

“Kids just saw her… 11:25 a.m.,” said one Cherrydale resident.

“Just seen passing through our yard at 12:30 heading in the direction of Windy Run,” said a subsequent Nextdoor post.

Goodhart said she spent 13 hours on Friday, Oct. 9, tracking Hannah from sighting to sighting — but the Aussie Cattle Dog mix stayed five minutes ahead of her all day.

Homeward Trails asks neighbors not to try and catch or feed lost dogs. Giving chase scares them and feeding them makes them less likely to go after the food in the traps. People with gates are asked to leave them open so that if dogs wander in, they can be closed inside.

Finally, on Wednesday, Oct. 14, Hannah took the food bait and was captured in another dog foster family’s yard. On Nextdoor, dozens rejoiced at the news that she was rescued.

Goodhart said Homeward Trails is grateful to animal control officers who were “completely tireless in helping us” and to the community, who helped bring Hannah back.

“We seriously could not have asked for a better place for this dog to be lost,” she said. “You never want a dog that’s lost, but the community was incredible.”

Homeward Trails places about 1,000 foster dogs in homes a year. The local organization works with under-resourced shelters in the area, particularly West Virginia.

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(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) The Animal Welfare League of Arlington says it has taken in the fourth abandoned dog in a month.

In the latest incident, a dog was found abandoned in a crate in the Ashton Heights neighborhood, at the intersection of 6th Street N. and N. Jackson Street. The dog was “in poor condition” and AWLA is now asking for the public’s help in locating its owner.

A similar dog abandonment happened about a week prior in the Arlington Mill neighborhood, though the incidents are all believed to be unrelated. A spokeswoman said the recent spate of abandonments is “very unusual.”

“We normally see about 2-5 per year, mostly commonly left behind in a residence after eviction,” said AWLA’s Chelsea Jones. “So on top of this being a much higher number than we typically see, it’s also an unusual manner of abandonment.”

The league says that hardship related to the pandemic may be causing desperate situations for some pet owners. AWLA is encouraging those with no where else to turn to contact them for help.

More from the animal welfare league:

On October 1st of this year, we took in the fourth abandoned dog we have responded to in a month. Our Animal Control team received a call from a concerned resident who found a dog in poor condition abandoned in a crate at 6th St N and N Jackson St in Arlington. Officer Byrnes immediately brought the dog to the shelter, and the rest of the team canvassed the area but was unable to find an owner or any involved persons. If you recognize this dog, please call our Animal Control team at (703) 931-9241.

Our staff has decided to call this sweet girl Willow. The dog that was abandoned the week before has been named Charleston. These dogs are two of four abandonment cases we have responded to recently, and while we know that hearing about these cases can be upsetting, even angering, we would like to ask our supporters to help us send a message of support to pet owners who may be struggling in these extremely difficult times.

We are very aware that as the pandemic goes on, more and more people are going to struggle to pay their expenses and care for their families. We are also aware that many people don’t know that there is help available to them when it comes to their pets or worry that if they surrender a pet to a shelter they will be judged, or have to pay a fee they cannot afford. We need your help to remind every member of our community that we are here to help. AWLA can provide food, supplies, vaccinations, and more to pet owners in need. We are here as a judgement-free organization to talk about any issues pet owners may be having.

Please do not hesitate to reach out for a helping hand. We are always available.

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Morning Notes

Ballston Movie Theater to Close Again — “Cineworld Group, the owner of Regal Cinemas, will suspend operations at all of its theaters in the United States and the United Kingdom beginning on Thursday. The closures will affect 45,000 employees.” [CNN, Axios]

N. Va. Trending in Right Direction — “The health department’s new pandemic metrics, updated Monday based on data through Saturday, show that the disease is currently at a ‘low burden’ level in Northern Virginia, is trending downward, and has low levels of community transmission. All other region’s of the state either have moderate or high levels of burden of the virus and community transmission.” [InsideNova]

County Joins Eviction Task Force — “Arlington has joined the Northern Virginia Eviction Prevention and Community Stability Task Force, a diverse coalition of stakeholders from the housing sector in Northern Virginia, to identify best practices to prevent evictions and stabilize households.” [Arlington County]

Greens Want Local Bag Tax — “The Arlington Green Party is pushing the Arlington County Board to enact a tax on single-use grocery bags, now that the General Assembly has given localities the permission to do so. Party members on Sept. 2 endorsed the proposal to enact a 5-cent tax on bags, and plan to present a petition to the County Board in November.” [InsideNova]

New Police Dog’s Official Photo — “FRK9 Brooks recently sat for his official department photo and gave the camera his best puppy dog eyes.” [@ArlingtonVaPD/Twitter]

More I-66 Ramp Closures — “Alternating overnight ramp closures are scheduled to occur this week on I-66 East in Arlington for final asphalt paving and striping as part of the I-66 Eastbound Widening Project.” [VDOT]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Local animal control officials are still trying to figure out who abandoned a dog in the Arlington Mill neighborhood.

On Monday the Animal Welfare League of Arlington posted photos of an emaciated dog that was left in a crate and placed “in a hidden location” near a parking lot. The organization also posted surveillance photos of a pickup truck from which the dog was unloaded, in the hopes of getting tips from the public about the incident.

More from a Facebook post:

Do you recognize this dog or vehicle? Please let us know!

On September 24, 2020 at around 8pm, the vehicle in the photos below drove to the 5000 block of 7th Rd S in Arlington, VA, removed a crate from the rear the car, and placed it in a hidden location on private property. The next morning, on September 25, a member of the public found the dog and called our Animal Control team. The dog was underweight, suffering from parasites, had no protection from the elements and no access to food or water.

If you have any information regarding this dog or vehicle, please contact Animal Control immediately at 703-931-9241.

Abandonment of an animal is a Class 1 Misdemeanor in the State of Virginia. Please know that we are here as a resource for pet owners in need, with our pet food pantry and other community resources. We are also always available to receive animals should owners be unable to continue to care for them, free of charge and without judgement.

As of last night, an AWLA spokeswoman said animal control officers were still awaiting tips.

“At this time we have not received any info on the dog or vehicle, although we have received lots of welcome support from the public,” said Chelsea Jones. “We hope to get a lead, but either way, we hope to put him up for adoption soon.”

Jones added that the dog has not officially been given a name yet, “but I think we are leaning towards naming him Charleston.”

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Morning Notes

New Name for Green Valley Park — “A year after it was first proposed, the renaming of Nauck Town Square in honor of a longtime Green Valley civic leader looks headed to success. The name ‘John Robinson Jr. Town Square’ has won the support of the Park and Recreation Commission, Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Commission, Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) and the civic associations of Green Valley, Shirlington and Douglas Park.” [InsideNova]

Beyer Blasts Trump Taxes –“The revelation that Donald Trump paid almost no personal income taxes for many years is not surprising, but it is outrageous. Far more important, however, is Trump’s use of the government for his personal benefit rather than that of the American people.” [Press Release]

Memorial Circle Changes — “The National Park Service is taking action to make the roads and trails at Memorial Circle safer. Starting today, drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists will see higher visibility crosswalks, new signage & flashing beacons, clearer lane markings & repaved road markings.” [@NationalLanding/Twitter]

Officials Seek Info About Abandoned Dog — “Do you recognize this dog or vehicle? On 9/24 @ 8pm, a person in this vehicle abandoned a dog in a crate near the 5000 blk 7th St S. If you have information regarding this dog or vehicle, please contact Animal Control.” [@AWLAArlington/Twitter]

Rainbow Over Arlington After Sunshower — “Courthouse rainbow spotted from our office with a view.” [@ArlingtonVaPD/Twitter]

Heavy Rain Tonight — “A slug of heavy rainfall is set to drench the Washington area and points east during the middle of the week, with an inch or so likely… It seems likely that a band of heavy downpours arrives [this evening], then perhaps lasting much of the overnight and tapering down from west to east Wednesday morning.” [Capital Weather Gang]

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Thirty-three pets rescued from the devastation in Beirut, Lebanon are now in Arlington, awaiting adoption.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington posted a video (below) of the Beirut blast rescues arriving at the airport and at the shelter near Shirlington. AWLA is now seeking new homes for the nearly three dozen dogs and cats.

More from an email sent to AWLA supporters on Thursday:

After a long journey from Beirut, Lebanon, 15 dogs and 18 cats arrived at AWLA last night to start new lives in the USA.

After the explosion in Beirut last month, Animals Lebanon immediately mobilized. For weeks they have worked tirelessly, rescuing animals who were injured or trapped in rubble, and reuniting as many pets as possible with their owners.

But the devastation was unimaginable.

Hundreds died. Thousands were injured. Hundreds of thousands remain homeless. Although Animals Lebanon stepped up to assist families, many could no longer keep their pets after losing family members, losing their homes, or being forced to leave the country.

Humane Society International (HSI) reached out and asked if AWLA would be able to take in some animals from Animals Lebanon. Without hesitation, we said YES and promised to do everything we could to help.

Animals Lebanon saved them from the wreckage. HSI flew them overseas.

All 33 animals will be staying in the shelter or in foster homes while they adjust to their new surroundings and we get to know them a little better. So many are scared and shy, several require urgent medical attention, and they all need a lot of TLC.

AWLA spokeswoman Chelsea Jones said the organization doesn’t usually take in pets from overseas, but the Beirut explosion is a special case, in part because of the work of the Humane Society.

“Since HSI did all the work getting them to Dulles Airport — we just had to pick them up!” she said. “I do know that getting that many dogs and cats on international flights takes a lot of organization and paperwork, so I’m sure they worked very hard to get it done. We don’t take international transfers very often, as we are mostly focused on helping local organizations, but we had the space to help in this situation.”

“It feels great to finally have the dogs and cats in their care,” Jones added. “The cats are all very friendly and social, and while the dogs are a little shy, we are excited to help them adjust to their new surroundings. We are so happy that we’ve been able to help these animals that have been through so much.”

Some of the cats are already up for adoption and ready to go home, according to Jones.

“We expect the rest of the cats will be available for adoption very soon,” she said. “Some of the dogs need to be spayed/neutered or medical issues, so we have to address that first. And then of course some of the dogs are very scared and unsure of this new step in their journey, so we will give them whatever time they need to adjust.”

AWLA is hoping to raise money for the care of these and other pets through its 2020 “Walk for the Animals” event.

The annual fundraiser, set for tomorrow (Saturday), has raised more than $77,000 of its $100,000 goal.

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The Arlington County Police Department has a new recruit, and he’s a very good boy.

Brooks, an eight-month-old Lab, is training as a police service dog. His police responsibilities will include participation in community outreach events and helping officers deal with “strong emotions and stress that are often an inherent part of policing.”

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department has partnered with 1st Responder Canine (FRK9), a Virginia based non-profit organization, to train a future service dog.

FRK9 Brooks is an 8-month-old male Labrador. For the next 2 years, he will train and socialize with his handler, Officer R. Ryan, assigned to the Community Outreach Unit. When in-person public events resume, FRK9 Brooks will attend to engage with the community and help to complete his training. While with the police department, FRK9 Brooks will also assist with officer wellness through de-escalation of strong emotions and stress that are often an inherent part of policing.

FRK9 Brooks is named in honor of Fire Chief Norman Brooks, Sr., who dedicated his life to serving and helping others. Chief Brooks, Sr. served the Spotsylvania community and positively impacted lives for 47 years, until his passing on February 13, 2019.

Follow along with Brooks’ progress on Facebook to stay up-to-date on his training and appearances throughout Arlington.

About First Responder Canine (FRK9)

FRK9 provided FRK9 Brooks, his medical care, food and training at no cost to the department. Upon completion of ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) certification, FRK9 Brooks will become a lifelong assistance partner to a First Responder (Fire, Police, or Emergency Medical Personnel) who has incurred a life altering injury such as: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and physical mobility disabilities.  To learn more about the FRK9 program, visit their website.

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(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) A teenager was allegedly behind the wheel of a car that struck a 10-year-old girl and killed her dog in Arlington’s Donaldson Run neighborhood.

Police confirmed this morning that “the suspected driver has been located.”

Photos sent to ARLnow on Monday show police behind a black Chrysler 200 sedan, with temporary Virginia tags, matching the description of the vehicle involved in the Friday afternoon crash. The photo was taken near Yorktown High School, at the intersection of Yorktown Blvd and Little Falls Road.

“The investigation is ongoing and charges are anticipated at a later date,” Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “In accordance with Virginia law, the suspect’s identity is not releasable due to age.”

Video sent to us by the victim’s family (below) shows the car quickly driving up N. Upshur Street around the time of the incident. The victim’s mother posted publicly on Facebook about how “our world was split open” as a result of the crash.

“Some reckless and selfish person in a black sedan racing down a quiet Donaldson Run residential street hit my 10-yr old daughter and our puppy at the corner of N. Upshur St. and N. Vermont St.,” she posted on Friday. “She did what she always does. Look left and right conscientiously.”

“The car hit our little Peanut leaving him in a pool of blood while she was luckily able to leap out of the way,” the mother continued. “In that moment, he could’ve ripped apart our world even further and killed her. It’s gut-wrenching enough that the sweetest puppy we’ve ever had was simply murdered. Gone in an instant. The driver didn’t blink an eye. Didn’t stop.”

Though the girl’s injuries were considered minor at the time, she was subsequently hospitalized over the weekend after an onset of lower body pain, ARLnow has learned.

Photos courtesy anonymous

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(Updated on 5/31/20) Arlington County Police are investigating an apparent hit and run that claimed the life of a dog Friday.

Around 1:45 p.m. police were dispatched to the area of N. Upshur Street and N. Vermont Street, in the Donaldson Run neighborhood, for a report of a girl and a dog struck by a driver.

“Upon arrival, it was determined that the juvenile victim was crossing the street while walking her dog when they were struck by a vehicle,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The juvenile suffered minor injuries and did not require transport to the hospital. The dog died on scene.”

The deceased dog was covered in a white sheet, in the middle of the intersection, while police documented the scene and interviewed the girl, her father, and witnesses.

The driver kept going after the crash and is currently being sought by police, Savage said.

The father of the girl who was struck emailed ARLnow to share the description of the vehicle and ask for the public’s help in locating it and identifying the occupants.

“The car was a black sedan possibly with a green pinstripe, with a male driver and a female passenger, both in their 20s,” he wrote. “It had temporary tags and was in the neighborhood between 1:15 and 2 p.m. We are asking that if you live in Donaldson Run and know of anyone who drives a car with that description to contact the police.”

A video of the car, as seen on a Ring doorbell camera, was sent to ARLnow.

On Sunday, ACPD released several photos of the car via social media.

Map via Google Maps. Photo (4) via Facebook.

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