Celebrating its Centennial Anniversary in 2014, The Washington Animal Rescue League is the oldest animal shelter in the District of Columbia. Its mission continues to evolve as conditions change and animals face new and different challenges, but the core of that mission remains unchanged: to honor and strengthen the human-animal bond by providing the best quality care for homeless dogs and cats, and supporting companion animals in their homes through affordable veterinary care, community outreach, and education. The Washington Animal Rescue League is known not only for its long history of compassionate care for animals, but for its innovative shelter, which is designed to promote the physical, emotional, and social healing of animals recovering from past traumas, and for the progressive programs that benefit animals and the community.
Step 1: Prepare for your visit.Please bring a photo identification with proof of your current address. Step 2: Come visit the animals! You may want to fill out an online “Meet your Match” survey before you come. It can help you make a decision on the right animal for your lifestyle. Be sure to discuss a new pet with other household members to make sure they are all in agreement. We require that all members of the home come in to pick out a new pet. Some of the pets listed here on our website may have an application pending, so we encourage adopters to call us if you have a particular pet in mind. You can reach us at 202-726-2556, ext. 503. Step 3: Talk to us! When you come in we invite you to visit the dog room or cat room to interact with the animals. There you’ll find adoptions staff and volunteer adoption counselors who can help you determine the status of an animal, as well as answer any questions you might have about the animal’s temperament and care requirements. (Bear in mind, however, that some of the animals you meet were strays or surrenders to other shelters with unknown histories.) Once you’ve selected a pet, you will complete the adoption application. If available, an adoptions counselor will sit down with you to review your application, answer your questions, and help you determine if the pet you’ve chosen is a good match for you and your family. Step 4: Homecoming! If the animal is a good match for you, the next step is to take the animal home. The adoption generally takes one to three days to process, depending on the animal’s medical needs. Some of our animals may be ready to go home with you the same day. Once you are approved for the adoption you must pick your new pet up within 48 hours. You may want to come prepared with a leash and collar for a dog or a cat carrier for a cat. There will be paperwork to sign and an adoption fee to pay. (We only accept cash and debit/credit cards.) We will send you home with the animal’s medical records, microchip registration, and a small bag of dog or cat food.