After a marked increase in distribution events across the city, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria now reports that it gave away more than 40,000 pounds of pet food and supplies in 2020.
“We’ve had programs for years to support our neighbors and their pets,” said AWLA Director of Community Programs Joanna Fortin. “But in April or May of last year, requests for help really increased.”
The nonprofit has given away pet food for AniMeals, part of the Meals on Wheels program with Senior Services of Alexandria; at pet care fairs for Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority residents; at food distributions for ALIVE! and AWLA’s Community Pet Pantry. In fact, AWLA reports that when the pandemic began last spring, demand for dog food increased by more than 400%.
“So much of the supplies we provide are actually donated by the community,” said Demetrius Jackson, AWLA’s community programs coordinator. “We’re often just a conduit for one neighbor helping another.”
Throughout the pandemic, AWLA has also taken in pets from under resourced and crowded shelters across the country.
“By working together with these organizations, we are able to help even more animals,” said Executive Director Stella Hanly. “We can help animals in their care with more supplies and equipment, and we can help the animals who travel to Alexandria find amazing new homes.”
Photo via AWLA