Innovate’s Proposal Manager, Michele Carneiro, volunteers with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA), an independent, local, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Since 2014, she has supported the shelter through a number of roles including dishwasher, laundry duty, cat kennels, and at the front desk, providing orientation to visitors and supporting the staff with miscellaneous administrative tasks. One of the major perks of this volunteer work is  comforting and cuddling animals that are adjusting to life at a shelter. “It’s a great way to spend time – I love seeing that connection when a person and animal click- especially when it’s a special need’s animal that most wouldn’t expect to get adopted,” says Carneiro. “The staff here is amazing!”

AWLA is a resource for the Alexandria community and a shelter for homeless animals. Through adoptions, spay and neuter assistance, education, community service and outreach, the AWLA plays a key role in promoting responsible pet care across Northern Virginia. It is a, “no-kill” shelter and they take in all walks of life – from dogs and cats, to pigs and turkeys!

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