Annual “Cover the Cruiser” Event Returns, Alexandrians Donate Food and Supplies for Pets in Need

 

Organizers of the “Cover the Cruiser” event – including members from the AWLA, Police and Sheriff’s departments and The Dog Store. (Photo Chris Damond)

ALEXANDRIA, VA–After a global pandemic derailed its plans in 2020, the yearly “Cover the Cruiser” event returned to action on Saturday, May 22, hinting at a return to normalcy.

Located in Del Ray at The Dog Store, the shop encouraged resident to buy products, like food and toys, and place them atop two City of Alexandria Police and Sheriff Department cruisers, parked outside. At the end of the event, donations went directly to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria shelter. Many of these generous contributions stem from a profound respect people have for the AWLA.

One of two police cruisers covered in pet supplies. (Photo Chris Damond)

“They do a good job”, said Doug Been, an Alexandria citizen, “They try to find homes for the dogs and they treat them well…that’s my charity of choice.”

However, the AWLA doesn’t just use the supplies for their shelter–they distribute them throughout the community, as well. With the multitude of hardships in the past year, pet owners have struggled to obtain all the essentials needed to keep their little companions happy and healthy. The AWLA is trying to provide support because, as AWLA Volunteer Coordinator Alli Holte states, “You don’t want to ever put anybody in a position where they’re choosing between keeping their dog in their home or not.” And events like these, put together by a number of enthusiastic, hard-working people, are part of the magic of Alexandria.

The scene outside The Dog Store. (Photo Chris Damond)

When discussing the origin of “Cover the Cruiser”, Paul Haire, the owner of The Dog Store, attests to this: “It’s all been very organic. This is how Del Ray works; you start with a small version of the idea and you continually have people who step forward and say, ‘Hey, I can make that even better.”

In past years, “Cover the Cruiser” has raised approximately $4,000, and now, with things beginning to return to normal, hopefully it can continue to be as successful. 

The interior of The Dog Store with a wide array of tasty treats. A selection of these products were buy one, donate one. (Photo Chris Damond)