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.
Squirrel goes house hunting — On Feb. 4, an Animal Control officer received a phone call from a realtor who discovered a squirrel in a vacant house in the 1800 block of Preston Road. The realtor stated that the squirrel had been seen inside the house for three days. Attempts to remove the animal were unsuccessful.
When the officer arrived on the site, the realtor said the squirrel ran upstairs. Williams located the healthy squirrel in an upstairs bedroom and safely captured the animal and released it outside.
The realtor suspected the squirrel entered the living area via the attic staircase, which had been left in the down position.
Bat removed from apartment — On Jan. 31, an Animal Control officer was dispatched to an apartment in the 5000 block of Seminary Road to remove a bat. The resident said he discovered a bat in his apartment when he woke up in his bedroom. He did not know how long the bat had been inside.
The officer captured the bat and educated the resident on the rabies testing protocol and calmed his fears about possible exposure. The bat was brought back to the shelter and an exposure report was prepared and sent to the Virginia Department of Health.
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.