Humane Education

Animal Allies Club

Summer Camp Information

Paws and Read

Tours of AWLA

AWLA schedules tours for groups of 10-25 people. The tours take about 30 minutes to one hour, depending on your group’s size, age of group participants, staff availability and other scheduled shelter activities.  Tour groups typically visit the front office, small animal room, dog kennel and cat room.  Tours are free but donations are always gladly accepted.

During the tour, groups learn about:

  • the services that the League provides on site
  • the types of animals the League houses
  • the different ways that animals come to AWLA
  • how to adopt from AWLA
  • animal control services in Arlington
  • other services/programs that the League offers the community
  • how the League is funded
  • ways that they can help the League

Hours for scheduling a Tour:


Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday


Noon-7:00 pm (last tour start time available is 6:00 PM)
Noon-7:00 pm (last tour start time available is 6:00 PM)
Noon-7:00 pm (last tour start time available is 6:00 PM
Noon-7:00 pm (last tour start time available is 6:00 PM
Noon-7:00 pm (last tour start time available is 6:00 PM
Tours Not Available
Tours Not Available

Please note that Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (whether we are open or closed) are days that we are unable to schedule a tour.  See the AWLA hours and holiday schedule here

Scheduling a tour of AWLA

To schedule a tour, please email our Community Support Director, Ashley Hay, at

Frequently asked questions about scheduling a tour of AWLA

Your listed hours do not work for my group.  Is it possible to come in the morning or during times that state “Tours Not Available”?

We do not schedule morning visits because the League staff are feeding the animals, cleaning the animals’ housing areas and attending to any special needs.  These tasks are typically finished by noon, when the shelter opens to the public.  On Tuesdays, the League is not open to the public.  Saturdays and Sundays are very busy adoption times and we are not able to accommodate tours during those times due to limited staffing

My group is larger than 25 people—can we still schedule a tour of the League?

Yes, we can likely still schedule a tour for your group but we may need to break your group into 2 separate visits and/or tour groups.  Please call or email to inquire about your group’s size and we’ll discuss available options.

What can my group do to support the League?

Groups often support the League by holding donation drives and collecting items from the shelter’s wish list, found here:  You may also give a financial donation if you prefer, before or after your group’s visit to the League—we accept cash, checks and credit cards.  If you would like off-site project ideas for your group, please contact Ashley Hay, Community Support Director at (703) 931-9241, ext. 213 or

I see that you have a Paws and Read Program to read to shelter cats- can my group do this when we come for our tour?

Unfortunately, we are not set up to accommodate group readings.  Reading sessions are approximately 20 minutes long and are scheduled one at a time with one child/parent in the reading room with a designated Purrfect Reader cat. Parents may scroll down on this page to sign up with their children under Paws and Read below.

Please Check back on 02/03/2020 for Next Summer’s Camp info


AWLA Summer Camp Registration Fee Refund Policy

AWLA will refund camp registration fee minus a $25 processing fee when you have submitted a request in writing as instructed below when 28 days or more remain before the start of the summer camp for which you have registered your child.

AWLA will not refund any registration fees when fewer than 28 days remain before the start date of the summer camp for which you have registered your child.

Summer Camp Registration and Fees are non-transferable.


Paws and Read Program

Paws and ReadSchool children in the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas are invited to improve their literacy by reading books to cats through the Paws and Read Program. The Paws and Read program is mutually beneficial for the shelter cats as well. Annually, AWLA receives approximately 900 cats with an average length of stay of 35 days. With no time limit for any of its animals, some cats may live at the shelter for as long as a year before finding permanent homes.

Children in kindergarten through eleventh grade are invited to participate in walk-in 20-minute reading sessions with shelter cats and small companion animals on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from noon-6:40PM, and Saturdays and Sundays from noon-3:40PM. For the safety of our animals and your children, there must be one parent or guardian present to supervise each child at all times. 

Children are able to choose a book from AWLA’s selection of stories or bring one of their own. Cats participating in the program are identified with a “Purrfect Reader” sign on their kennel. All small companion animals can be read to.

There is no fee or sign-up required to participate in the Paws and Read Program. Simply visit AWLA anytime during the hours listed above, sign a liability form, and start reading!

If you have any questions about the Paws and Read program, please contact Ashley Hay, Community Support Director at (703) 931-9241, ext. 213 or

AWLA Animal Allies Club for Ages 10-13 years old

The Animal Allies Club is for children ages 10-13 years old. Animal Allies Club  members will meet monthly on scheduled Mondays in 2020 to learn about how AWLA operates, meet AWLA staff and/or area animal welfare professionals, learn about animals in our care and much more. Kids club members will also assist in special service projects that help AWLA and our animals!

Animal Allies Club activities are educational in nature and may include lessons on animal care/behavior, guest speakers, and projects/activities to benefit/support AWLA and the animals in our care.

Note: If your child has allergies to peanut butter, cats, dogs, or small companion (bunnies, ferrets, guinea pigs, birds, etc.) animals of any kind, this may not be an appropriate club for your child.

Registration is required and space is LIMITED.

Registration is $100 per child + a 5% processing fee, and includes a club t-shirt!

Registration will open at 8am on January 15th. Payment is required a time of registration.

ALL club meetings begin at 5:30 PM and end at 7:00 PM.  Doors open no earlier than 5:15 PM for club meetings.

In 2020 we will be offering two different club groups, at different time choices. Both club groups will meet once a month, for a total of 10 club meeting times between February and November of 2020. Please note, this is the same club offered in two different time slots or group. We only have an allotted number of spaces for each group. Details of times and starting dates for the two groups will be announced when registration opens on January 15th.

Should you have any questions about AWLA 2020 Animal Allies Club, please reach out to Ashley Hay, Community Support Director at (703) 931-9241, ext 213 or