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Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Alexandria, VA — The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) celebrated its 75th anniversary with Pours for Paws, a special on-site event and silent auction. Food and drink were provided by Meggrolls, Port City Brewing Co., Nothing Bundt Cakes, Tito’s Vodka, Scuttlebutt Bakeshop, and Rough Day Wines.

  • AWLA Executive Director Stella Hanly gave an impassioned speech about the work of the AWLA over 75 years, noted the incredible challenges of the pandemic, and expressed hope and optimism for a bright future.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and several City Council members were among the attendees milling about, chatting with friends, reviewing the dozens of items up for auction, and touring the facility as well as the AWLA’s new surgical and event vehicle, Waggin’ Wheels.

Board Chair Julie Conway welcomed guests and thanked the many sponsors, and Executive Director Stella Hanly thanked the staff and volunteers for rising to the many challenges they faced, and continue to face, during the pandemic.

In addition to making donations in the silent auction, guests were invited to support the AWLA by adopting a cat condo or dog dorm, sponsoring a child for some of the many activities offered throughout the year, and purchasing a “Mystery Envelope” that contained prizes inside.

Besides helping rescue and rehabilitate animals in need, and finding homes for them, the AWLA does so much more. Hanly cited the old adage, “Where there’s an animal in trouble, there’s a person in trouble.” And that’s where the work of AWLA makes such a difference in our community. From donations to, and requests from, their pet pantry, the AWLA has seen firsthand neighbors helping neighbors. They recently hosted their first Pets & People Community Wellness Event, providing supplies and vaccines not only for pets but also scheduling COVID vaccines for people, providing bags of food, and more.

Hanly expressed hope for the future, and mentioned their summer camp would begin soon, where they welcome kids to the shelter to learn about taking care of animals. She asked the audience who would like to sponsor a camp by donating a scholarship, and several hands shot up in the air. “Imagine our next generation understanding the bond between people and animals,” Hanly said. AWLA’s goal is to foster the importance of connecting with animals, so children can understand it “and their love for them will grow.”

If you’d like to donate and support the vital work performed at the AWLA, or simply learn more, visit

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