Animal Control officers in Alexandria deal with a variety of calls every week. Here's a glance at some recent incidents in the city courtesy of Patrick Cole, the director of communications and outreach at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
Opossum stuck in fence — Shortly after midnight on Jan. 18, an emergency service technician arrived at W. Howell Avenue to assist an opossum trapped in a fence. Hansen located the opossum, which was stuck in between the wooden slats of a fence surrounding one of the residences.
The technician was able to free the opossum without too much difficulty and the animal displayed no signs of injury. The healthy opossum was returned to the wild.
Adequate shelter required for outdoor pets — On Jan. 21, an Animal Control officer arrived at the 6100 block of Edsall Road to investigate a report of a dog being left outside on an apartment balcony for hours at a time. Williams first observed the balcony and did not see the dog outside. The balcony appeared clean and there were no odors.
Williams spoke to the resident and observed the dog inside the apartment. The dog was healthy and very friendly. The owner informed Williams the dog does go outside on the balcony, but never for long amounts of time when the weather is cold. Williams observed a water bowl and food bowl on the balcony, as well as a doghouse intended for indoor use only.
Williams instructed the owner to purchase a weather-proof doghouse for outdoor use and arranged for another visit to inspect the structure and verify compliance.
Trap-Neuter-Return Program launches — Using a grant from PetSmart Charities, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria has launched a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program in the city. The AWLA is offering assistance to feral cat caretakers and other concerned citizens to humanely and effectively reduce the number of free-roaming cats in the city. AWLA provides supplies, training and financial backing for spay/neuter surgeries. The program runs at no cost to the public. A schedule of upcoming workshops and more information is available online.
For more information about Alexandria Animal Control, visit the AWLA website.