Blog Archives

The Giving Season is HERE! And we NEED YOU!
Starting now through December 1, we are participating in Giving Tuesday 2020, our final online fundraising event of the year.
How we fare in this event will directly impact the animals who need us next year.
We have faced a devastating loss this year of $200,000 in revenue from four major events and programs being canceled. So this year, Giving Tuesday 2020 is even more important! The animals in 2021 will need us just as they did this year and we simply must have the resources to help them.
Won’t you join us to make a donation, share this post, give from the heart FOR the animals? A minimum $5 donation can save a life when we all come together.
They need us and we need you.
Thank you! ūüźĺ‚̧ԳŹ

Can’t spend time with family and friends this holiday season? Stuck at home creating new holiday traditions? Treat yourself and your loved ones to beautiful wreaths, garland, and centerpieces from Lynch Creek Farm. From now until December 13, order your greenery using our special link and HT will receive a generous 15% of your purchase. Order yours today!

Shop from home in your pajamas AND save lives!

PawJammin’ is an online auction to raise much-needed funds for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Thanks to generous local donors, PawJammin’ is offering more than 150 awesome items.

Whether you bid on these unique items for yourself or for holiday gifts, your purchases will literally save lives. 100% of the proceeds raised will support the Homeward Trails medical fund.

Bidding is open NOW through December 12th. All from the comfort of home/your pajamas! Go look!

PawJammin’ Online Auction

 

If you would like to donate an item to the auction, or suggest a potential donor, please fill out the Donation Form or email specialevents@homewardtrails.org

Thank you to our donors so far!




|

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 operating 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. Due to increased COVID precautions, please do not bring out of town guests or visitors.
  • 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‚Äôll 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 

Sign Up to Meet Kittens Here 

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

|

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. 

|

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 РSHOP TODAY!

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

|
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 Р(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