Blog Archives

We are very excited to announce that we have re-opened our Adoption Center and Meow Palace by appointment only, and will have many wonderful dogs and cats waiting to meet you!

We are re-opening on an appointment-only basis with designated arrival times. Please sign up for a time slot using the signup link for either dogs or cats.

For the health and safety of everyone, we ask that you observe the following guidelines when visiting our Adoption Center and Meow Palace

  • Please arrive on time. Having specific arrival times will allow us to enforce social distancing in our small space.
  • Please limit your party to members of your immediate household only. Due to the small space in Meow Palace please limit your party to 3 people to visit cats.
  • Masks or facial coverings are required for all visitors over two years of age. Visitors arriving without a mask will be asked to reschedule their appointments. We are unable to provide masks for visitors.
  • Please exercise good judgment – if you have symptoms of respiratory illness or a fever please stay home.
  • In order to accommodate the maximum number of visitors in the safest way possible, we are limiting dog meetings to 45 minutes and cat meetings to 15 minutes. We understand this may not be enough time for all visitors and are happy to schedule a follow-up appointment if requested.
  • Please bear with us as we adjust to a new way of doing things and work to provide you with the best adoption experience under the circumstances

We look forward to seeing you and thank you for your patience as we re-open!

For Dogs 

Once you have signed up you will receive a link to a survey to help match you with dogs who might be a good fit for your family. You will be asked to select three dogs from the list of potential matches that you would like to meet. 

*Please only sign up for one appointment spot per weekend. Additional sign ups will be canceled.

Sign Up to Meet Dogs Here 

For Cats 

Adopters interested in meeting cats should complete the adoption questionnaire ahead of time indicating the kind of cat that they’re looking for.

Once you sign up, you’ll be contacted to let you know which cats at Meow Palace would be a potential match. There will NOT be kittens at Meow Palace at this time. Please be prepared to take your new cat home if there’s a match by bringing a carrier.

All of our other cats and kittens are still available for adoption from their foster homes by completing the above adoption questionnaire.

Sign Up to Meet Cats Here 

We look forward to seeing you and introducing you to our adoptable pets! Thank you for your patience as we re-open!

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On October 24, HT will lace up our collective sneakers for Best Friends Animal Society’s Strut Your Mutt, a virtual community walk and fundraiser to support rescues across the country. JOIN THE HT TEAM TODAY and help save lives! Registration is just $15 and goes towards our overall goal of $10,000. Your efforts to solicit support from fellow animal lovers will also help us reach that goal – AND win you prizes! We hope you will join us. If joining isn’t your thing, you can still help! Help by spreading the word on social media, making a donation to our team, or joining our volunteer committee. Contact our team captain for more information.

 

Homeward Trails is thrilled to announce this new program in partnership with the Pittsylvania Pet Center (PPC)!

The “Home To A Home” program will aim to decrease the number of animals having to enter a shelter by offering pet owners an opportunity to move the pet they can no longer keep directly to a foster home.

Our hope is to prevent an influx of animals entering the shelter as quarantine starts to lift and to re-route unwanted animals on a regular basis from one home to another!

Shelters, even those that are wonderfully run, clean and safe like the PPC can still be scary for so many animals and they pose unavoidable health risks to animals that are young and old.

The PPC animal shelter serves Pittsylvania County and surrounding communities in southern Virginia, where available foster and adoptive homes are fewer than here in Northern Virginia.

Join us in celebrating this program and our wonderful fosters who we know stand ready to assist the animals who will benefit!!

Collaboration saves lives!

More details are available in a local news story by WFXR, as well as in the press release below. 

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The wait is over…our brand new Homeward Trails Shop is open! Thank you to Athletes Mark for making this happen!

Items will be made to order right here in Virginia, and many are customizable. Our shop will continue to evolve, with new designs added each month – so be sure to bookmark it and check back periodically!

Don’t miss out on our Limited Edition #quarantine2020 designs – SHOP TODAY!

Our biggest year end fundraising day is TODAY, December 3 and we need your help!  Giving Tuesday allows us to finish the year saying YES and go into 2020 saving lives..

We’ve had an incredibly busy year. To date, more than 2,500 animals have been rescued. Almost 40% of these have a special need that makes them candidates for euthanasia. But with your support, we are able to give them the medical care they need to get well and find that loving home they deserve. 

Giving Tuesday is the most popular online fundraising day of the year because it urges people to think of gifts to charitable organizations after the official start of the holiday shopping season. Together hundreds of donations large and small add up to thousands of dollars for our animals!

Our goal is to raise $30,000 in 27 hours. 

Will you help us reach our goal and make 2020 our biggest year for rescuing animals? With your help, we can make it happen! Give and share to help us save lives!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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It’s cold, the days are shorter and there are so many obligations that require you to get dressed up and leave the warmth and comfort of your home. And let’s be honest, it’s hard this time of year. We hear you. And we have a solution!

What if there was a way to shop while saving lives? To shop while literally staying home with your two and four-legged family members in your pajamas? We have the answer! PawJammin!

PawJammin brings you awesome items for auction that not only allow you to do your holiday shopping while in your pajamas, but to literally save lives with each item you bid on. Yes, 100% of everything you buy through PawJammin will save the lives of homeless animals. We have great gift cards for pet service and supplies, hotel stays, Caps and Redskins tickets, vacation rentals and more!

So no need to get a gala dress. No need to dust off the tux. No Uber costs, no parking fees, no fitting in yet one more obligation to your already busy schedule. This is guilt-free, at-home, pajama-based shopping with a cause! PawJammin!

Bid now until December 12 to get one of these unique gifts and get excited about not only giving the gift itself but the gift of life that our animals deserve. And you will make possible.

View our items and bid here

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Come out to Ledo Pizza in Falls Church (Tysons Station) on December 9 between 5-10 PM and help raise money for the Homeward Trails medical funds – specifically to help puppies suffering from deadly parvovirus.

All you have to do is dine at Ledo Pizza on December 9 and HT will receive a donation equal to 20% of your check. The 20% donation also applies to carry out orders that mention Homeward Trails and we receive 10% of any catering orders that mention Homeward Trails that day.

Monday, December 9
5:00-10:00 PM 
Ledo Pizza
4510 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22043
(703) 847-5336

Please help spread the work and make this event a huge success.

It is an important and exciting time for us at Homeward Trails and our Puerto Rico-based GuaniCARES program. On Wednesday, September 11, 2019 HT officially signed a contract with the Guanica Mayor’s office to take over operations for animal control. This is a truly amazing opportunity that we hope will give more dogs in Guanica life-saving outcomes. This has been several years in the making.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
There are hundreds (likely thousands) of dogs and puppies living in the streets, the forests, on the beaches of Guanica. We see them every day as we drive through the area. We see puppies, ranging from newborns to older. We see friendly dogs. We see feral dogs. We see dogs cared for by the community and dogs that are horribly neglected. We see gravely injured dogs and dead dogs in the streets. It is a very, very, very difficult environment for dogs here.

To date, when the community was faced with “nuisance” dogs they called the Mayor’s office and “dog catchers” from a nearby jurisdiction would come to to town and round them up to be taken to a shelter and killed. With few resources, these catchers were most likely rounding up the friendliest and easiest dogs to catch. And these dogs stood no chance at life.

For four years now we have been working in Guanica. Since 2017 we have taken 633 dogs and puppies from Puerto Rico and brought them to the US for adoption. We have also provided Trap/Neuter/Return services for almost 500 cats. And we have provided more than $15,000 in supplies including food, traps and other animal supplies, thanks to our amazing donors.

We currently have one full-time staff person. So our accomplishments to date have been remarkable on the little resources we have.

We know that rescue is not a long-term solution to the dire situation of homeless animals anywhere. Especially here. We must have government involvement and support. We must have community involvement and support. And we must have the support of our loyal followers and donors.

Puerto Rico faces tremendous challenges and while there are so many people here who care about animals they simply do not have the information and resources to help. We want to change that.

https://www.mightycause.com/story/Guanicareslaunchofficial

With this contract we hope to achieve three major things:

1. To provide more dogs in the community with life-saving outcomes. This will mean adoption in the US or TrapNeuterReturn (TNR) to the community. Our TNR efforts will stop the reproduction of puppies, minimize aggressive behaviors of dogs towards other dogs and people, aim to eliminate the poisoning of dogs as a means to control the population and allow the dogs to live in the community safely and under the watch of community care givers. TNR will be used when the dogs are not deemed potential candidates for adoption due to a lack of socialization

2. To engage community members to join our efforts by helping us to identify priority dogs, fostering puppies, sharing our efforts to stop poisoning and other harmful methods currently used and recruiting and training volunteers to assist with TNR. We have our first community meeting this Sunday.

3. To hire individuals from the emergency response division and the police department, many of whom have had their hours cut by 50% due to budgetary issues, to work as GuaniCARES Animal Resource Officers (AROs). These people will be trained to go into the field to trap animals, respond to community calls and further our outreach and education efforts.

We are already overwhelmed but energized by the opportunities this partnership will bring to save more lives and make what is a huge community problem a community collaboration for life saving.

In the 3 days we have been here this week we have trapped 8 puppies living in the woods, taken in 4 dogs abandoned in Guanica recently and neutered 3 additional community dogs. In addition to caring for the dogs in our care, which takes an average of 4 hours daily.

This new partnership will have its challenges for many reasons. But we will endure for the animals and remain positive and committed. And we will share each step with you in hopes you will be a part of it. We would not be where we are today without your support.

The contract comes with a $2,300 annual payment. Yes, you read that correctly. $2,300. So we cannot be successful without our donors.

Our goal for Year One is to raise $20,000 for the following:

Hiring of two part-time AROs asap. $10,000
Secure additional large traps and trapping supplies $5,000
Print materials for community distribution $750
Training for youth outreach interns $500
Vetting costs for TNR dogs $3,750

We hope you will consider supporting this worthwhile project and helping GuaniCARES become a MODEL PROJECT for other areas. Long-term solutions are our goal.

Please stay tuned for photos and updates of our activities in live time this week as we are out in the field.

We recognize the TREMENDOUS support and partnership of the following people who have gotten us here today and will play integral roles as we move forward.

Clínica Veterinaria, La Suiza who vets our animals, boards them while

they recover and has provided countless hours of veterinary support and guidance for our efforts. Without them we would have no program here.

Ricardo Guzmán our San Juan-based attorney and CPA who meticulously guided us through the very detailed 24 documents and filings with 7 departments that were required in order to sign the contract. And for his tremendous help writing and negotiating this contract.

Lynn Descoteau who started our involvement here in Guanica by reaching out to ask for help for the dogs she saw everyday during her 10 years on he island. He care and concern and efforts are what brought us here.

Animal Welfare Institute who so generously donated our transport van. Without it, none of our transport to/from the vet and to/from San Juan airport would be possible.

Barks of Hope and Leo the BOH Director here in PR who we are lucky to partner with and have her amazing support. Collaboration truly does save more lives.

Doris Draeger and Bonita Stoudt who continue to help us engage community members and support our efforts every day.

And so many more people who we know only by phone. And to all of our donors, fosters and adopters. These animals would not have a chance without you.

Get started here: https://www.mightycause.com/story/Guanicareslaunchofficial

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In May, HT took its first group trip to Guanica, Puerto Rico where we have been operating since 2015. Thanks to the tremendous outpouring of support on World Spay Day with over $7,000 raised, we ventured to Guanica with staff and volunteers to provide Trap Neuter Release (TNR) to 100 cats. It was an intense week with long days and busy nights, but in such a short amount of time we were able to save SO many lives!
This trip was the official launch of our GuaniCARES program – (Guanica CompanionAnimalRescueEducationSterilization)! It was a week of 17 hour days but we left having achieved even more than we set out to thanks to our dedicated volunteers, staff, veterinarians and you! 
Our goal for the week was to TNR 100 cats. Months in advance we set up plans with three local veterinary clinics, our GuaniCARES staff and our wonderful on-the-ground cat lovers, Eliana and Tonito. You might remember our story about Eliana and Tonito from our earlier visit this year. They are an elderly couple who feed and care for more than 100 community cats every evening, spending their retirement money every month on the cats. Their dedication is endless and it was amazing to work side by side with them each evening to fan out in their neighborhood and watch the kitties come running as they arrived in their broken van to feed. We would quickly set our traps and sit back, allowing the kitties to explore and investigate what was going on. Eliana was crucial in our efforts, helping to identify kitties that we trapped who were nursing and thus, needed to be released and trapped at later dates. 
Our days started at 5 am with volunteers headed out to set traps for kitties that feed in the morning to supplement those we trapped the evening before. We then would go in all directions, taking them to the vet and then arriving back late each morning to prepare for that night’s trapping and to head into the field to care for the homeless dogs and puppies we would find.
We ventured into fields where we treated and fed dogs with mange. We visited homes of locals who had asked us for food or supplies. We handed out our GuaniCARES dog collars that we brought along to encourage community members to put them on their dogs to identify them as “owned”. We visited our vets to drop off and pick up not only the cats we brought them but injured and sick animals we found each day needing immediate assistance.
We ended up keeping a group of 6 kittens and one friendly mom who had no care takers. One of the kittens had been hit by a car and had a broken leg – a common peril of being a street animal in Puerto Rico. These adorable kitties will arrive in the DC area soon for adoption!
Our days would normally end around 11 pm with us all dirty, exhausted but invigorated by the progress we made each day. And then we would rise again to do the same the next day!
Support our rescue efforts in Puerto Rico

Barley Mac is teaming up with Homeward Trails, a local non​-profit, no-kill rescue center for cats and dogs. Please join us Sunday, July 15th from 4-7pm for specialty cocktails and treats! Adoptable dogs on site! Monetary and/or supply donations for Homeward Trails preferred. We’ll see ya there!

See the wishlist below for appropriate items:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3HIEQLQC63BK5

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