Alexandria Assists Dogs in Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

by Lee Hernly, Editor

#StormSurge Impacts Coastal Animal Shelters

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is helping to make room in overcrowded animal shelters affected by Hurricane Matthew and is inviting the Alexandria community to join in the relief effort.

Last Thursday, acting as an emergency placement partner for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the AWLA received three dogs from Charleston Animal Society in South Carolina. The dogs, named Sophie, Tito and Lilo, were at the shelter waiting for adoption when the hurricane struck. They were transferred north to make room for local animals who need temporary housing until they are reunited with their owners.

HSUS arrived at AWLA’s shelter at 4101 Eisenhower Ave. on Sunday, October 16, with a rig full of dogs from storm-affected shelters in North Carolina. AWLA will be taking in six more dogs and serving as the pickup location for several additional rescue groups who are helping.

AWLA staff is busy preparing for these new animals. Puppies are being doubled up in AWLA cages, and fosters are being contacted in order to free up kennel space. Upon arrival, all dogs will undergo complete veterinary and behavioral evaluations to determine how quickly they can be made available for adoption.

As the shelter reaches a “high-water mark” with regard to capacity, it is turning to the Alexandria community for assistance. All dog adoption fees have been waived for a #StormSurge adoption event, which will continue through 5 p.m. Sunday, October 23. AWLA is also looking for potential fosters to temporarily house dogs; contact for more information.

Media should contact for more details on the logistics (including time) related to the arrival of the HSUS rig of animals at AWLA this Sunday, October 16. There will be opportunities to take photos/video of dogs being off loaded from the rig and transferred into the ALWA shelter or to other rescue groups. Press will also have opportunities to interview staff and adopters.

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, celebrating its 70th anniversary, is an independent, local, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The AWLA is committed to ending animal homelessness, promoting animal welfare, and serving as an educational resource for the City of Alexandria community. More information is at

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