A national 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital chain is looking to open a location in the Shoppes at Foxchase in the West End.
New York City-based Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG) filed a special use permit (SUP) application to open at 4525 Duke Street, which is the current home of Mattress Firm. VEG wants to transform the 5,279-square-foot space into an animal clinic that would be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“The proposed use is a veterinary hospital operating 24 hours a day,” VEG wrote in its special use permit (SUP) application. “The veterinary hospital will not include boarding.”
The SUP was filed on Feb. 27, and the last day for public comments is March 23 before it goes to the Planning Commission and City Council for final approval. A public notification was also posted on the front door of the business and city planners have confirmed that the address is correct.
VEG has dozens of clinics around the country, and the Alexandria proposal would make it the first location in Virginia.
The proposal includes a complete renovation of the interior of the store with examination rooms, an operating room for surgeries, a lab/pharmacy, workstations, seating nooks for customers, a staff break room, a laundry room and storage areas.
“Emergency is all we do, and that’s why we do it best,” VEG said on its website. “VEG is a true partner with your primary vet, acting as an extension of their practice for after-hours emergency care.”
In its application, VEG anticipates accommodating 15-to-20 customers a day.
Representatives with Mattress Firm did not respond to calls for comment, and aside from the SUP request there is no official notification of whether the store is closing. The property manager for the shopping center’s owner, Global Retail Investors LLC, also did not respond to calls for comment.
Mattress Firm filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and closed hundreds of stores. There are reportedly 2,400 Mattress Firm locations around the country, and other stores in Alexandria are located at 3925 A Richmond Highway in Potomac Yard and at 821 S. Washington Street in Old Town.
An alleged dog poisoning attempt in Del Ray has been the big news story in Alexandria this week, but the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) said such incidents are exceedingly rare.
While the story has had some dog owners concerned about other possible cases of dog poisoning, Tony Rankin, chief operating officer for AWLA, said the attempted poisoning is ‘strongly believed’ to be an isolated incident.
“We have not had any reports of this nature in the almost 3 years that I have been here,” Rankin said. “I believe incidents like this are extremely rare, especially in a very dog-friendly community like Alexandria… we strongly believe this was an isolated incident and that the suspect only targeted one specific house.”
Rankin said that the story can serve as a reminder for locals not to leave their pets unattended.
“This said, I have always encouraged people to never leave their pets unattended, even in a fenced yard, and to always keep an eye out for anything that might pose a risk to their pets,” Rankin said. “This applies to their own yard, out on a walk around town, or out on a hike in the country.”
Rankin said it would also be a good idea for anyone with a pet to have poison control’s number readily available.
“I also strongly encourage anyone who owns a pet to keep the ASPCA Poison Control number in their phone, which is 888-426-4435,” Rankin said. “It can be an invaluable resource where a pet owner can get great advice if they think their pet has ingested something toxic.”
John Romano, an Alexandria resident, was charged with attempted poisoning of a companion animal. AWLA’s Board Chair Julie Conway asked that the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney prosecute the attempted dog poisoning case as a felony. Commonwealth Attorney Byran Porter told ALXnow the crime is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail.
The case is set for arraignment on Monday, Feb. 27.
Twelve-year-old bonded canine sisters Sophie and Joey are looking for a new home in Alexandria, and their adoption fees are covered.
Their previous owner can’t take care of the dogs any more, and the pair have spent their entire lives together.
“Even on the first day they came to us, you could tell that they didn’t want to be apart, not even for a moment,” said Elena Carver, the AWLA’s Veterinary & Foster Care Manager. “But when they were together, they completely opened up. Suddenly this new place wasn’t as scary to them.”
The AWLA wants to help every animal find a loving home this holiday season. In the case of Joey and Sophie, that home needs to be big enough for two charming senior canines. That’s why, as part of the AWLA’s Home for the Pawlidays event, running through the end of December, adoption fees have been paid by Priority Automotive for all adult animals, including Sophie and Joey.
“Every animal deserves a loving family, regardless of their age,” said AWLA Executive Director Stella Hanly. “Sophie and Joey have given so much love in their lives and they have so much more to give.”
Joey and Sophie are available for adoption or for temporary foster. To schedule time to meet them for adoption, email [email protected]. To learn more about providing them with a shelter break by fostering them in your home, email [email protected].
Bread & Water Co. just got into the pet store business.
The restaurant company recently finalized its purchase of The Dog Park at 705 King Street. The dog and cat boutique has been owned and operated the last 12 years by Anna Franklin, who thanked her customers on Instagram
“As some of you may already know, I have officially sold The Dog Park,” Franklin wrote. “These past 12+ years have been more than I could have hoped.”
New owners Markos Panas, Noelle Rickey and Doug Abedje opened their first business, Bread and Water, in the Belle View Shopping Center. They also own Beeliner Diner in the Bradlee Shopping Center and the Bun Papa sandwich restaurants.
Rickey was a former veterinary technician for 10 years and has a lengthy background in retail.
“We have a lot of work to do, but my hope and goal is to make something that is successful, does good for the community and can grow,” Panas said. “This is all one day at a time, but I’m excited about the opportunities to be an active member of the community.”
Panas said that the deal has been months in the works, and that his partners also recently became members of the Chamber ALX and the Old Town Business Association.
“We’re going to offer food subscriptions with online ordering,” Panas said. “There’s also a dog grooming station built out in the back that has ever been used. So, we’re going to do something with that. We’re also going to do a lot of public events.”
Photo via The Dog Park/Instagram
Adam has puppy dog eyes that are out of sight.
The five-year-old Lab mix is up for adoption with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
“At 65 pounds, Adam may seem large, but he promises that he’s the perfect size lapdog,” said AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter. “Adam is the prize winner for Best Puppy Dog Eyes here at the AWLA, with his big brown pools that win over all his visitors.”
Schedule time to meet Adam by emailing [email protected] or calling 703-746-4774 (opt. 2).
Alexandria has its fair share of grooming salons and overnight hotels, but the Carlyle neighborhood could be getting a new one for the city’s canine companions.
Dog care facility District Dogs is headed to the City Council at a meeting on Saturday, Nov. 12. The item is docketed for the consent calendar, meaning it’s likely to be approved with little or no discussion.
The new location at 2424 Mill Road would include grooming, training and daycare services for dogs.
An animal care facility is already authorized in the building’s zoning, but a staff report said because District Dogs includes overnight accommodations it requires a special use permit.
The staff report recommended approval of the special use permit, saying the new business could be a boon to the growing neighborhood:
The proposed location for District Dogs is well-suited for this use. Dog-related businesses have grown in popularity and, with the number of new residential units in this area, the demand for dog boarding will likely increase. The addition of overnight accommodations to the permitted animal care facility use will increase the options dog-owners have in this neighborhood.
Photo via District Dogs/Facebook
Little Lola looks good for being 12 years old. The black and white domestic short-haired cat looks and acts half her age, according to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and all month long adoption fees are being lifted for AWLA’s senior pets.
“Lola has lived with cats her whole life (including the also adoptable Regina) and would be open to a variety of household types, including those with built-in feline friends,” said Gina Hardter, spokesperson for the AWLA. “As a super senior, Lola has years of best friend experience, and she’s happy to share that with her new human family.”
Schedule time to meet Lola by emailing [email protected] or calling 703-746-4774 (opt. 2).
Big boy Boscoe is up for adoption.
The two-year-old brown and white male American bulldog has a face that says, “What are you looking at?” but all he really wants is belly rubs, says Gina Hardter, spokesperson with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
“Boscoe isn’t just brawn and beauty though,” Hardter said. “He has the brains to match, already mastering skills like Sit and Shake, and he’s pretty sure he has the potential to learn so much more with the right best friend by his side.”
Learn more about Boscoe and schedule time to meet him at AlexandriaAnimals.org/
After complaints of inescapable barking creeping into the neighborhood, Brewski’s Barkhaus might not go ahead with its special use permit (SUP) request to expand outdoor seating.
Barkhaus (529 E. Howell Avenue), the D.C. Metro area’s first-ever dog-friendly bar and restaurant with an off-leash indoor and outdoor dog park, opened two years ago. The business wants to add 20 seats to the outdoor seating area, which already has 20 outdoor seats.
The SUP states that the daily number of guests (around 150 people) won’t change because of the new seats, although business owners are wary of what they see as potentially restrictive restrictions by city staff.
Barkhaus co-founder Alex Benbassat said that the company is closing an hour earlier throughout the week and opening later due to neighbor complaints. He also says that the business has not received a single noise citation from the city.
“We reduced our operations by eight hours a week,” Benbassat said. “All we want is 20 seats. Retracting the SUP would just take away from the customer’s experience. Customers just be wouldn’t be hanging out as long, it wouldn’t be as comfortable.”
Barkhaus is located at the busy corner of E. Howell Avenue and Richmond Highway, and across the street from the full-service dog daycare Your Dog’s Best Friends.
John Kit Wannen lives across the street from the business, and says that his family can’t escape the noise of dogs barking at all hours of the day. Warren has sent letters to city staff, and testified before City Council at last Saturday’s (October 15) meeting.
“It penetrates our home, with all the doors and windows closed,” Wannen said. “They have a right to operate their property as they see fit, but that right ends when they penetrate our homes, and we can not escape that noise.”
Paws In The Park, Alexandria’s biggest annual animal-focused event is returning on Sunday (October 16).
More than 50 adoptable pets will be on-hand at Old Town’s Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison Street) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We’re talking about probably close to 50 adoptable animals, mostly dogs and cats,” said Animal Welfare League of Alexandria spokesperson Gina Hardter. “It’s gonna take over the entire park. It’s fun for the whole family stuff for kids. We’ve got stuff for adults and well behaved leashed pets are welcome as well.”
There will be music and food at the event, which is free to attend.
Participating shelter and rescue organizations:
- Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
- AERO Animal Rescue
- A Forever Home Rescue Foundation, Inc.
- Australian Shepherds Furever
- Canine Companions
- Humane Society of Fairfax County
- K-9 Caring Angels
- Margaret’s Saving Grace Bully Rescue
- Miri’s Haven Senior Dog Rescue
- Mount Vernon Animal Rescue
- Oldies But Goodies Cocker Rescue
- Project Second Chance
- Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue
- Squishy Face Crew Virginia
- Tails High Inc.
- Tails of Hope
- Wildlife Rescue League