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5 things you don't know about the Washington Humane Society

Thursday - 3/21/2013, 11:32am  ET

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The Washington Humane Society offers more than dogs and cats to adopt. (Courtesy of Washington Humane Society)

Katy Nelson, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Here are five features of the Washington Humane Society that you may not know about, but should:

1) The Humane Education Program

The Humane Education Program is offered free-of-charge to local schools, service organizations, church groups, summer programs and youth organizations. Students learn how to responsibly care for a pet as well as how much time and money an animal may require.

2) The Humane Law Enforcement

The Law Enforcement Department works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to bring justice to abused animals in D.C. This team of heroes investigates more than 1,400 complaints of animal cruelty and neglect every year. By law, D.C. residents are required to provide their animals with proper food, fresh water, shelter, adequate and clean space and veterinary care when needed. If you see animals that are victims of neglect or cruelty, call the Washington Humane Society immediately. You can even place your call anonymously.

3) The National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Center

The National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Center offers low-cost spay and neuter for dogs and cats. There are no income or residency requirements specific to D.C., but appointments are required. Pets must be at least four months old and weight at least two pounds. See all requirements before calling to make an appointment.

4) The Dog Tags Program

The Dog Tags Program is a partnership between Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Washington Humane Society that teaches soldiers the basics of dog training. The curriculum gives soldiers the opportunity to pursue a future career in the field of animal training, care and welfare. While building skills that may benefit them in the future, these wounded heroes in turn provide vital training and skills to the homeless pets in the capital.

5) Safe Haven Program

Safe Haven provides domestic violence victims with a place to call when they are concerned about the safety of their pets. Numerous studies have shown the link between domestic violence and animal abuse. The Washington Humane Society can serve as a resource for victims, human service agencies and anyone concerned about the safety of an animal in D.C.

To support Washington Humane Society and all of these valuable programs and services, visit its website. You may also attend the Fashion for Paws event April 13 at the National Building Museum.

Dr. Katy Nelson is an emergency veterinarian in Alexandria, Va. Tune in to "The Pet Show" with Dr. Katy every Saturday at 11 a.m. on Washington D.C.'s News Channel 8, and listen on WTOP for her Dr. Pawz segments every two weeks. Have questions for Dr. Katy? You can follow her on Twitter @drkatynelson, on Facebook or email her at askdrkaty@wtop.com.

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