Blog Archives

We are very excited to be bringing you a fresh new website experience coming May 15. We have been hard a work on our beautiful new site and we can’t wait to share it with you! Be sure to come check it out!

As you may or may not know, Virginia animal shelters are filled with Hounds. These amazing dogs are most often discarded by callous hunters, found starving wandering the countryside. Many never make it as hunters and are then tied up to chains or left along the side of the road like old furniture. A good number of them do not make it out of shelters alive.

But these dogs – like all dogs – are amazing and worthy of families. We just cannot get them families fast enough to stop them from dying in our shelters when there is no more space.

And so we are trying something new here. ALL HOUND DOGS ADOPTED FROM HOMEWARD TRAILS WILL BE FREE. Yes, we are WAIVING ADOPTION FEES for Hounds for the foreseeable future.

We hope that will entice well-matched applicants to consider a Hound now. Use the money you save on training, treats, toys.

We think all dogs are worthy. But the reality is that some take extra incentives. Some have more barriers to getting adopted. And the result is well, more end up dying.

And no – this does NOT mean we are just giving dogs away. All applicants will still go through our application/screening process to ensure good homes. This is just us trying to save more dogs by eliminating one more barrier to adoption. And hey, Hound lovers can use all the extra money they can get to buy treats, right?

Help us help these Hounds. Our program Helping Happy Hounds is live NOW. Let’s save some lives!

It’s time for the annual Up Close & PAWSonal Photo Contest!

Here is your chance to:

  • Showcase your favorite four-legged family member!
  • Raise money for the animals of Homeward Trails!
  • Win prizes!
    • $500 Amazon gift card for 1st place finishers in both cat and dog categories plus a goodie basket for your pet, two tickets to Chili Bingo, and a feature on our Facebook page
    • $150 Amazon gift card for the 2nd place finishers in both the dog and cat categories plus a goodie basket for your pet

1. NOW: Submit your brief responses for your HT pet’s Bio & a quality photo of your pet.

2. WHEN YOU RECEIVE YOUR LINK ON MAY 14: Promote your personalized voting/donations link far and wide!


All submissions must be received by 5pm Eastern on May 11. We are unable to accept late submissions.

$1 donation = 1 vote.

Contest will run from May 15-31, 2023

Winners will be announced on June 1, 2023 The animal/entry in each category with the most votes/dollars raised will be the winner. Separate winners will be announced for dogs and cats.

Please be mindful that the creation of each bio link takes time and resources from our staff. So be sure to make the effort worthwhile & promote it widely to help raise needed funds for the animals who need us!

To get a leg up on the competition check out these

Top 10 Pet Photography Tips & Techniques

from Digital Photography School


All spots are filled for Camp Waggin’ Tails 2023. Please email to be added to the waiting list. 


Kids ages 8-13 are invited to join us for our energetic and educational summer camp – Camp Waggin’ Tails!

During our week-long camp held at the Homeward Trails Adoption Center in Fairfax Station, kids will learn all about animal rescue, responsible pet ownership, positive dog training, hear from a variety of pet professionals, and work hands on with carefully selected adoptable dogs while engaging in fun games and projects designed to reinforce what we have learned.

During summer 2023, Camp Waggin’ Tails will run Monday through Friday July 24-28 from 8:30am-3:30pm. Additional before and after camp hours may be available for an additional fee.

Registration is $425 per child and includes two daily snacks, all supplies, a water bottle and a Camp Waggin’ Tails t-shirt.

Camp is limited to 14 children session so register today before spots fill up! To ensure your child’s safety and that they receive the individual attention they deserve, Camp Waggin’ Tails operates with a minimum of one adult for every six children.

Please contact with any questions.



We have just a few tickets left for Spaghetti Bingo on March 18 so act fast and get yours today!

Get your tickets today and join us for a family-friendly night of fun at our Spaghetti Bingo fundraiser! Ticket prices include all-you-can-eat spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, soft drinks, desserts and 6 bingo cards. Additional bingo cards, raffle tickets, and beer and wine will be available for purchase. We do expect Spaghetti Bingo will sell out so get your tickets today before it’s too late! We’re also looking for sponsors, click the link below for more information.

When: March 18th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Where: Lyon Park Community Center, 414 N. Fillmore St., Arlington, VA

Can’t attend? Save the date and plan to join us for Chili Bingo on October 14!

Thank you to our Spaghetti Bingo sponsors!


Shop from home in your paw-jamas AND save lives!

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

Thanks to generous donors, PawJammin’ offers more than 200 awesome items including gifts card, gift baskets, high end holiday decor, pet items, vacations and more!

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 runs through Friday, December 9 at 5:00 PM EST. All from the comfort of home/your pajamas! Get those bids in and be sure to keep checking back as new items are added!

Thank you to our donors!

Santa is coming!
We are partnering with our friends at Barkhaus to offer photos with Santa on December 6th and 13th from 6:00-8:00 PM.
Your pup can meet Santa, share their Christmas wishes, and get their photos taken, for a $25 donation to Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. You will receive 3 edited digital images emailed to you within a week of the event and the option to purchase prints and products online.
We will also be collecting supplies to help homeless animals this holiday season. Most needed items include high quality canned cat and dog food, martingale style collars, leashes, small training treats, laundry detergent, paper towels, dish soap, bath and beach sized towels, lightweight fleece blankets, and gas and grocery gift cards.
Sign up for your appointment today!

Sign Up!

20+ Best Christmas Dog Memes The Internet Has EVER Seen

Can’t spend time with family and friends this holiday season? Just enjoy the look and smell of fresh wreaths and garlands? Treat yourself and your loved ones to beautiful wreaths, garland, and centerpieces from Lynch Creek Farm. From now until December 12, order your greenery using our special link and HT will receive a generous 15% of your purchase. Order yours today!

Time to clean out the attic and sort through your closets, we need your donations for the Homeward Trails booth at the Lyon Park Community Yard Sale on Saturday, October 29 from 8 am to 1 PM!

Don’t miss this opportunity to turn your unwanted items into much needed funds for the animals of Homeward Trails. This sale typically raises over $1,200 to help our animals!  The sale will take place at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N. Fillmore St., Arlington, VA).

It is very much recommended that if you can bring your sale items directly to the Homeward Trails tables on the morning of the sale that you do so as our storage space and space and transportation options will be very limited. If you can’t do that, we will be accepting donations at the Homeward Trails Adoption Center from October 23 – October 28. We can use clothes, shoes, household items, small appliances, dishes, kitchenware, collectibles, children’s clothes, toys, games, small furniture, rugs, towels, tableware, holiday decorations… you-name-it, we will take it as long as it is in sellable condition.

In addition, we will need volunteers to help unload and set up (6:30 am – 8 am), help sell items (8 am – 1 pm), and help pack up what is left after the sale (1 pm – 2:30 pm). Many shoppers come very early so we can use lots of help in those first few hours! If you can help anytime from 6:30 AM – 2:30 PM, please sign up using the email below. This is a great opportunity for youth volunteers who are accompanied by an adult.

We will also need a few volunteers the week prior to the event to help organize the donations dropped at the Adoption Center and help transporting items to the sale.

Please contact Rebecca at  to volunteer or with any questions.

The war in Ukraine has had a devastating impact on animals – pets, farm animals, zoos, and others. Thousands of pets have been left behind by owners and shelters. Many have died from abandonment and starvation and others from injuries. HT is partnering with the organization Breaking the Chains (BTC) and its founder Tom, a British army veteran, in a number of ways starting immediately. In May 2022, longtime HT volunteer and fluent Russian speaker, Shana A. volunteered for one month in Ukraine with BTC and saw firsthand how much the animals need and deserve help. The heartbreaking losses that they have suffered and the awful fate that awaits many of them is hard to fathom.

On October 1, HT Executive Director Sue Bell will accompany Shana on her return to Ukraine to volunteer with BTC in three ways: 1. Volunteering at the shelter that has been set up to receive animals who have been abandoned and/or injured; 2. Transporting adoptable cats (dogs are currently being absorbed in Europe) back to HT for adoption; 3. Raising needed funds to secure food to prevent the starvation of thousands of animals during the harsh winter months.


Please consider joining Shana for a Zoom presentation about her time in Ukraine and specifically her work with BTC on Wednesday, Sept 28 7-8:30 pm on Zoom

We need donations to secure the transport of cats and to help supply what will be life-saving food as the winter comes. Please consider a donation now – before Sue and Shana leave Ukraine – to help us save kitties and/or secure food to save lives before winter hits.



See coverage of our upcoming Ukraine efforts on WJLA