On Saturday, March 13, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) brought in 50 cats from eight individual animal shelters in Texas, still recovering from the devastating February snowstorms and subsequent power outages. Many of these Texas facilities are now experiencing a surge of surrendered pets, and by transporting animals who were already in these shelters to Virginia, these organizations can better address the continued need for care and assist even more homeless animals.
According to the Alexandria Gazette Packet, "The biggest hurdle was making sure a vehicle could safely transport that many cats. While the AWLA owns several vehicles for day-to-day shelter use, none is equipped with fixed cages for that many animals. Luckily, one AWLA volunteer, a retired naval engineer, had the solution, and in a matter of days, he created a removable rig that could be placed in one of the AWLA’s vans that could accommodate travel crates for up to 50 cats. Two additional AWLA volunteers offered up their time to make the 14-hour round trip drive to Tennessee, where they would meet with a HASS representative to pick up the traveling cats."
As per Alexandria Gazette Packet, "In addition to facilitating the transport, the AWLA served as a local hub to connect many of the cats with shelters and rescues in the region. Twenty of the cats, ranging from 6 months to 5 years old, stayed at the AWLA, where they will undergo general and veterinary evaluation before being made available for adoption. The remaining 30 cats have gone to other local shelters and rescues, including the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Loudoun County Animal Services, Four Paws Rescue, and Helping Homeless Felines."