Welcome to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

Adoption Information

Thank you for considering adoption of your next companion! Every year, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) places thousands of companion animals in permanent, loving homes just like yours. 

At the AWLA, matchmaking is our specialty. Pairing the right companion animal with the right adopter can be part science and part “art.”  Our staff spends much time getting to know each potential adopter—learning about his or her lifestyle and hopes for a new companion. Whether an adopter is looking for a energetic kitten or settled senior dog, social house rabbit or sunny parakeet, our staff ensures that every relationship starts off on the right foot—the first step as our residents and their adopters begin a lifelong journey together.

Adoption Specials 

Benefits of Adoption

As part of the League’s adoption program, all companion animals are

  • Tested for heartworm (in dogs) or FeLV/FIV (in cats)
  • Current on all basic vaccinations
  • Microchipped (a permanent form of identification)
  • Spayed or neutered (for dogs and cats)

Within three days of adoption, we encourage adopters to bring their new companion to one of our partnering veterinarians for a complimentary wellness check.

All dogs and cats are sent home with a collar and identification tag, as well as a small bag of Hill’s Science Diet food. 

The Steps to Adoption

The AWLA believes that adoption is a lifetime commitment and we encourage potential adopters to take their time and meet with several adoptable companions before selecting a new partner. New animals enter our adoption program every day, the League advises adopters to visit the shelter multiple times and work with our staff to find the right companion. League staff and volunteers spend much time with our adoptable residents and are happy to answer questions about personalities and behavior.

After selecting a new companion, all adopters should follow these steps.

1. Complete an adoption application. This application provides the League with information about an adopter’s preferences, housing, and current pets. The application is designed to help adopters consider the time and financial commitment that different companion animals require. A staff person will review the application with the potential adopter to clarify any questions and to ensure the suitability of the selected animal for that particular home.  

2. Provide rental permission. The League requires that all adopters who rent provide a copy of the lease stating that pets are allowed to be kept in their rental property. A letter signed by the landlord granting permission to adopt is also sufficient.

3. Family and/or roommates meet the new family member. The League asks anyone who will be living with the new companion animal to visit before the adoption is finalized.

4. Dogs only: meet with current dog(s). If another dog currently lives in the adoptive home, we request that the dog come to meet with our adoptable dog. We want to make sure that everyone approves of the adoption—humans and canines alike!

5. Meet with staff for an adoption consult. After finalizing the steps listed above, potential adopters sit down a League adoption counselor to review the adoptable animal’s medical and behavioral records, discuss ways to make the transition home a smooth one and finalize necessary paperwork. After this consult, new adopters are welcome to take their new companions home!

Please note: We ask that you take your new pet home with you as soon as you can.  We only hold animals for 24 hours (pending spay/neuter surgery) and we reserve the right to move on to other potential adopters after 24 hours, if applications are submitted. 

Adoption Applications

For your convenience, you may download our adoption applications here and bring the completed application with you to the shelter.

Cat Adoption Application
Dog Adoption Application
Small Animal Adoption Application


Adoption Fees

The League's adoption fees are: 


Cat (under the age of 8) $120
Cat (over the age of 8) $  60
Cat (bonded pair 1yr-7yr) $150
Cat (bonded pair, over age 8) $120
2 Kittens $200



Dog (under the age of 8) $150
Dog (over the age of 8) $  75
Dog (Bonded pair under 8) $200
Dog (Bonded pair over 8) $150


Small Mammals:

Ferret, Chinchilla $50
Guinea Pig Pair $37.50
Guinea Pig $25
Rabbit Pair $75
Rabbit $50



Small bird (Parakeet, Finch) $20
Cockatiel, Love Bird $40
Small Parrots (Conures) $50
Medium Parrots (Greys) $100
Large Parrots (Macaws) $250
Amphibian (turtle) $20 unless otherwise noted
Reptile (snake, lizard) $25


Special Discounts

As noted above, senior companion animals may be adopted at a reduced fee. Also, bonded pairs of cats and kittens have reduced adoption fees, as we hope these pairs are able to stay together in their adoptive homes.

At various times of year, the League offers special adoption promotions and reduced adoption fees. Visit our Special Events page for a listing of current adoption specials.

Seniors for Seniors

Adopters who are 65 years of age or older may adopt any animal that is 8 years of age or older for FREE! Senior animals are often some of the best pets you'll ever spend your life with and the AWLA wants to provide companionship for all people and animals who need it. Call 703.746.4774 or visit the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter to find your special senior today. The Seniors for Seniors program runs throughout the year.

2 for 1

Adopters of cats and small animals can now take home two for the price of one! Our 2 for 1 special places even more animals in permanent, loving homes. The only thing better than one pet is two! Call 703.746.4774 or visit the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter for more details. The 2 for 1 program runs throughout the year.