Check out some awesome AWLA Alumni Updates!

We love getting updates from pets and their families! Do you have an AWLA alumni story to share?


Adopted November 2016

"The Sunday after Thanksgiving my husband showed me a pic of a sad-looking tuxie kitten who was named Midka at the time. She was a wee thing who apparently hated other cats (still does!) and was mostly not a fan of humans either due to not having a great first few months of life. She was given to your shelter because she was "not affectionate". Our first meeting was basically us trying to coax her out of the corner. We decided she needed us as much as we needed her and took her home on the spot.
Four years later, Midka now goes by Rocky the Flying Wonder Cat, Rocky for short, and has turned into the sweetest and most curious and ornery kitty I've ever met. She is spoiled rotten, follows me room to room, plays nonstop, and lights up my life every day. Her favorite activities are laying in the sun, running up and down our stairs at full speed, screaming for treats. and plotting the demise of the birds and squirrels on the other side of the screen in the backyard.
Thank you so much for saving this little girl and giving me my best friend".

~ Andrea


Adopted January 2021

"Jodi is doing great! She's super playful and active, she has made very good use of all the toys we got her, and she loves to go out on long walks and play fetch outside. She is SO smart and curious, always observing and investigating everything! She's also the best cuddle buddy ever! She loves to be around us, and will often fall asleep on your lap (I jokingly rocked her while singing once and she - no kidding - fell asleep right there). We love her so much, and we're so grateful for AWLA for rescuing her and trusting us to be her forever home. She has transformed our home in these few weeks and I can't imagine not having her around!" ~ Talita


Adopted April 2021

"Rosario (now Poppy) is doing wonderfully! She is learning all her commands and loves her long walks and playing with her doggy friends. She has grown from 27lbs to 34lbs. Her favorite places are Teddy Roosevelt Island and the birding and wildlife trail down the street. She is a total cuddle-bug and super popular in my apartment building and the neighborhood (I get recognized as “Poppy’s mom”). I love her so so much and am so grateful to all of you at AWLA for making the adoption process so easy, for all the resources, and the support!" ~ Lauren


Adopted September 2020

"Emma (formerly Freya) was a dog rescued from the Beirut port explosion.  She and her puppy had also been shot by BB guns and had to undergo surgery before traveling to the US to find a home.

When I first took Emma home, she was understandably timid and anxious. So much so that she needed medication to help her calm down and sleep. When she ate, she wolfed her food down like it may be her last meal. We would reassure her that her food dish would always be there for her and silently my heart broke knowing what she had been through and how hard she must have worked to protect her puppy as well. She was also a jumper - she would try to pounce on every person we passed. We walked her three times a day, and over time, her confidence grew - her tail started to wag. She loves being outside and going on adventures.

Emma doesn't miss a thing. Sometimes, after we've stopped to sniff for what seems to be the hundredth time, it's easy to get annoyed. I quickly learned how helpful that trait was during a hike with her. We were up in the mountains on a new trail, and I became lost. It was getting dark and I tripped on some rocks and fell, dropping her leash. Emma immediately doubled back, sat with me patiently until I got up, and then very confidently led me out of the woods in the dark. All that sniffing had paid off. Even now, she notices every detail of things around her. Her intelligence keeps me on my toes!

Our bond has grown since then, and she is now a completely different dog. She prances and wags her tail as we walk. Neighbors say hello to her when they pass and she greets them with a goofy grin and stands to get her ears scratched. She makes new friends at the dog park and absolutely loves kids. Emma even gets along with our cats. She enjoys the trails, tries to chase the deer, squirrels, and rabbits, and loves playing on the little beach by our lake. She is full of joy. Many heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped her along her journey to find us. She was absolutely worth it and we are so grateful to have her in our family!"

~ Allison


Adopted February 2020

"Astro is the most loving and affectionate boy with us. He’s very shy with strangers, but his food motivation is slowly but surely helping us to bring him out of that shell. Astro has mastered his off-leash skills and loves running around in large fields. He’s perfected tricks like paw, high five, crawl, and even the all too entertaining finger gun/play dead. He’s made close friends with his dog pals and loves going to dog parks to say hello!

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to welcome him to our home. Our little family is so much happier with him around!"

 ~ Phillip & Emma


Adopted November 2019

"Tiberius (formerly Kahlo) came from a hoarder's house. The pictures you showed us of his former home, where it seemed he was living in a filthy cage, are unfortunately seared into our memory. Since we brought Tiberius home, his fur has grown into a gorgeous long coat and he has come out of his shell. He is incredibly playful! He has after-dinner zoomies and every night we fall asleep to the sound of him hunting his squeaky toys. As pictured, he especially loves playtime with catnip. When he isn't playing, he spends his days lounging on our guest bed -- which he has made his own."

 ~ Sofia


Adopted September 2020

"There is nothing that moves that is not of great interest to Sadie...leaves, bugs, Christmas decorations, shoelaces, people, squirrels, birds, deer, cats and dogs. She was 25lbs at adoption and is now closing in on 40lbs, and is a focused student, mastering find it, high five, take a bow, sit, down, and pray."

 ~ Gary


Adopted March 2003

"I wanted to show what 17.5 years of love and caring looks like. I adopted Venus from you in March 2003. I took this picture last week. She turned 18 a few weeks ago."

~ Phil


Adopted May 2020

"I hadn't planned to adopt a cat this year, but when I saw Kyoshi, I couldn't pass up the opportunity of bringing her home...although she was initially a bit anxious, Kyoshi became more confident and playful in just a couple of days as she grew used to her furever home. Then, my brother and I slowly began introducing her to his cat Cersei (formerly Goose, another AWLA Arlington alum) once she became comfortable. It was a long process, but working remotely helped us monitor their progress and give them space when needed. They are now pretty much besties who will chase and wrestle each other, or watch birds and people pass by the window. I've even caught Kyoshi licking Cersei's head a couple of times, particularly to comfort her when there's a thunderstorm.

Kyoshi is a pretty laid-back cat who will fall asleep anywhere, with her fluffy belly up most of the time. She LOVES food and treats and is especially vocal in the mornings, when she'll jump on my bed, start chirping, and lick my hand or nose so that I can wake up and feed her. When I lean down toward her face, she'll often give me a "kiss" by rubbing her nose on mine.

It's safe to say that adopting Kyoshi, particularly during these difficult times with the pandemic, was a great decision. She has no idea how much joy she brings me, and I hope she knows how much she’s loved."

~ Kiara


Adopted September 2019

"Frankie, aka Taffy, is really taking to his new home and adjusting very well! He is another mommas boy. This is him taking a nap, while his mom washes all of the dog hair out of the couch covers. So glad we were able to take Frankie home and he is able to live out his senior years in peace and happiness!"


Adopted January 2019

“My boyfriend and I adopted Gunther from you all earlier this year, and he has been nothing but an absolutely perfect sweetheart. He's snuggly, docile, playful, engaging with treats, just a wonderful spirit that has made our lives better. He's in good hands and we thank you for all you do”

~ Alexandra