Arlington County, VA

Arlington County, in northern Virginia, is just across the river from the District of Columbia and is a highly urbanized community of 221,000 people. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) is a private organization that contracts with Arlington County to provide animal control and sheltering services. The shelter’s website states that the shelter accepts owner surrenders. The shelter asks people who have to surrender their pet to schedule an appointment, bring in the pet’s medical records, and fill out a pet personality profile. There are pet retention services available.

The shelter has a suite of services that it offers the community, including low-cost spay-neuter, safekeeping, and a TNR program. It offers no-interest loans to low-income people for emergency pet care. Another innovative program offered by the shelter is its “Baby-Ready Pets” program, originally developed by the Providence Animal Rescue League and the Rhode Island SPCA. It is a two-hour workshop offered to expectant parents to help them “prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of the new baby and to make sure that it is a safe and (relatively) stress-free experience for all.” The shelter offers humane education and birthday parties at the shelter.

AWLA posts its fiscal year statistics on its website. In the fiscal year ending in June 2011, the shelter had an 89% live release rate. In the fiscal year that ended in June of 2012, the shelter had a 92% live release rate. The shelter reported 278 owner-requested euthanasias for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, and 5 animals who died in shelter care. If those deaths are counted in with euthanasias, the live release rate was 78%. I spoke to shelter director Neil Trent about the number of owner-requested euthanasias, and he stated that the shelter requires that an animal brought in by an owner for euthanasia must meet the shelter’s standards for euthanasia. He remarked that the shelter, located as it is on the edge of a large urban area, receives requests for owner-requested euthanasia from beyond its jurisdiction.

In fiscal year 2012-2013, AWLA had an intake of 1618 animals, not counting owner-requested euthanasia requests. The live release rate was 92%. The shelter performed 232 owner-requested euthanasias and had 13 animals who died or were lost in shelter care. If those animals are counted in with euthanasias, the live release rate was 80%.

Arlington, Virginia, was originally listed by this blog on April 18, 2013, based on its 2011-2012 fiscal year statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2012-2013 fiscal year statistics.