All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small

Walk slated to benefit homeless animals.

— The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria will host the first-ever Alexandria Shelter Walk for Homeless Animals on Oct. 21 to raise awareness about pet overpopulation and the thousands of animals the AWLA cares for each year.

The Walk will also raise funds to support the many AWLA programs that combat animal homelessness, promote responsible pet care and match shelter animals with adopters.

The Alexandria Shelter Walk for Homeless Animals will begin at 9 a.m. at Market Square in and participants and their animal companions will complete a one-and-a-half-mile walk through Old Town, returning to Market Square.

The AWLA operates the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, an open-admission facility and Alexandria's only animal shelter. The League was established in 1946 and has provided shelter for homeless animals and served as a community resource for more than 65 years.

Since 1989, the AWLA has contracted with the City of Alexandria to provide animal care, control and sheltering services for City residents. Through adoptions, low-cost spay and neuter assistance, humane education and ccmmunity outreach the League strives to end animal homelessness.

Although based in Alexandria, the League serves the entire metropolitan region.

"The League represents and speaks for those who do not have a voice of their own," said acting Executive Director Mary Beth Mount. "In addition to operating a shelter that serves as a safe haven for abused, neglected and unwanted animals, we proactively fight animal homelessness by educating and assisting pet owners with spaying and neutering. This is the best way to prevent unwanted and unplanned litters that inevitably end up on the shelter's doorstep." Mount adds, "Our Walk not only benefits the dogs and cats in our shelter, but also the birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, turtles, ferrets, lizards and other small animals we care for on a daily basis."

The League encourages all animal lovers and pet owners in the region to participate in the Alexandria Shelter Walk for Homeless Animals. While many participants will be walking with their dogs, those with cats, small mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians at home are welcome to represent their companion animals and support the AWLA's fight against animal homelessness. Registration will be available online in the coming weeks, as well as campaign and fundraising tools to help walkers raise money and awareness for this cause.

For more information on the Alexandria Shelter Walk for Homeless Animals, visit