Placing an animal in a loving home is like catnip to animal shelter staff and volunteers; it’s what gets people up each morning to scrub the kennels and out in the rain to walk dogs. And hearing people’s stories of adopting their cherished family cat, first dog, or beloved rabbit is further reward. But adoptions are only one of the many services that animal shelters, like the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA), provide to the community. Shelters not only find wonderful homes for homeless animals, but also provide programs and services to ensure that companion animals stay healthy and safe with their owners, and everyone, regardless of income, may enjoy the love of a pet.
And there’s more! The League engages the community with humane education programs and presentations, summer camps for kids, special events like the annual Walk for the Animals, and pop-up volunteer opportunities and activities, like Kong-stuffing and kitten yoga.
More than just match-makers, shelters like AWLA are valuable community resources; they are service providers, education centers, and experience stations which, together with rescue groups, are raising awareness and standards for animal welfare and saving the lives of thousands of homeless animals.