Blog Archives

We need volunteers at the Adoption Center every Saturday and Sunday to help greet prospective adopters and introduce them to our wonderful adoptable dogs.
Come to our orientation session on August 6 at 7 PM to learn more. Sign up here:
Please note that volunteers for this position must be at least 18 years old.

 

Come out and enjoy live music, pet-friendly outdoor dining, pet portraits, and meet your new furry family member on July 24. We will have adorable adoptable dogs waiting to meet you!

Join Solar Solutions, Homeward Trails and Uptown Main Street for this fun event!

Paws on Panels
Saturday, July 24th
11 AM – 2 PM
4700 14th St NW and Crittenden Ave.
Washington, DC 20011

Take Dad for BBQand beer at Lost Rhino Brewing Company on June 20. Homeward Trails will receive 10% of the day’s proceeds.  Enjoy craft beer and food all day and delicious food from Red’s BBQ and Pizzeria.

Father’s BBQ With Benefits
June 20, 2021
Lost Rhino Brewing Company
111:30 AM – 7:00 PM21730 Red Rum Drive, Suite #142
Ashburn, VA 20147



What better way to say Happy Father’s Day than saving rescued puppy or kitten in Dad’s honor? For a $60 donation we will send a personalized message and a custom photo card of a rescued puppy or kitten to the dads in your life.

There’s no better way to celebrate love than saving a life! And we’ll help you do it!

**All donations must be received by 5 pm on June 15th for a mail date of Wednesday, June 16th.

Once your donation is received we will contact you for your personalized message! Please reply promptly to ensure order fulfillment.

Click here to get your card!

 

Looking to do something fun and rewarding on the weekend?

Why not get started as a Homeward Trails Adoption Counselor? Adoption Counselors are volunteers who are trained specifically to interact with prospective adopters at the Homeward Trails Adoption Center! You will share info on the dogs, gather info from the applicant, work with the Adoption Center staff to ensure a good match…and potentially play a key role in sending dogs into their forever homes.

We need folks NOW who are willing to commit 3 hours on a weekend…just once a month! Just 3 hours can help send more dogs home more quickly, thus allowing us to have space to rescue more. Imagine – just 3 hours of your time can save dozens of lives!
You will be trained and fully supported by the HT staff as you get acclimated to your role. It’s fun, you’ll learn a lot and you’ll literally be saving lives.

Our next Adoption Counselor training session will be held on Wednesday, August 18 at 7:00 PM via Zoom.

Sign up using the SignUp Genius button below.

Sign Up!

Get Tickets While They LAST!
It’s the event you’ve been waiting for all year long!
The 2021 Super Hero Scavenger Hunt sponsored by the Ballston Bid and the Ballston Quarterfest Crawl!
WHEN: Saturday May 15th
WHERE: Ballston! (Arlington, VA)
TIME: Flex start between 10 AM EDT – 1 PM EDT
WHO: You! Any ages welcome. Form a team of 2-6 people. Win prizes. Have fun. Enjoy an outdoor day in the sun with stops for food and drinks and entertainment as part of the Ballston Quarterfest Crawl
PRIZES: You bet! Prizes for first-finishes, best team name and best costumes!
This event is appropriate for people of all ages.
Sponsored by the Ballston Bid. Visit www.ballstonva.org
Vote for your favorite HT-adopted animals while contributing to the life-saving efforts of Homeward Trails!
Each vote is $10, all of which goes to support the medical needs of the homeless dogs and cats in our program.
The dog and cat who get the most votes each by April 30th win.
You can vote as often as you’d like!
Help these adorable pets pay it forward for another animal in need!

VIEW PHOTOS HERE

CAUTION: CUTENESS OVERLOAD IS UNAVOIDABLE. PREPARE YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.

 

 

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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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