Animal Welfare League of Alexandria distributes 5K pounds of free pet supplies during coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has left many pet owners out of work and struggling to make ends meet, and the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria in Virginia is working to help.

Through its Community Pet Pantry program, the organization has given away more than 5,000 pounds of pet supplies to pet owners in need since mid-March.

“We started receiving a greater level of requests in April. It was about 400% more than we would normally see in an average month,” said AWLA’s Gina Hardter.

The program provides people with items such as wet and dry food, kitty litter and training pads for puppies.

pet food
The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria has donated 5,000 pounds of pet supplies since the effects of the coronavirus pandemic hit the region. (Courtesy Animal Welfare League of Alexandria)

Another one of the nonprofit’s programs, Animeals, works with Meals on Wheels to provide monthly pet food deliveries to senior citizens.

The goal is to prevent people from having to give up their pets, especially at such a troubling time when people are relying on their furry friends for comfort.

“We know right now there are some people who, their pet is really their only point of contact on a daily basis that might be the only one in their household,” Hardter said.

AWLA gets a lot of donations, but they can always use more.

The group has created wish lists on Amazon for both Pet Pantry and Animeals.

If you need help for your pet, you can call 703-746-5508 or email

Asked if they only provide assistance for pet owners within the city of Alexandria, Hardter said, “While we do want to make sure we are able to serve people in Alexandria, if somebody reached out to us from another location, we wouldn’t turn them away because of that.”

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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