Blog Archives

We are thrilled to be joining our friends at Subaru of America, Inc. at the The Washington Auto Show again this year from January 20-29. We had a blast showing off our dogs and puppies last year! We got to introduce Homeward Trails to lots of new people and see so many old friends and adopters. Stop by and say hello and pet some adorable adoptable dogs if you are visiting the auto show!

We are also still in need of volunteers are needed for many shift to help handle dogs and transport dogs to and from the Adoption Center and foster homes.

The convention center is metro and bus accessible if you are not transporting dogs. You can enjoy the auto show for free before or after your shift. Volunteers must be 18 years and older.

Sign up to volunteer and come join us!…/20F084EA8AE2DA5F49…

It’s time to prepare for our annual Spaghetti Bingo fundraisers! The awesome fun happens on March 11 and again March 18 and there are lots of ways YOU can help!


Spaghetti Bingo
Saturday, March 11, 2023
Saturday March 18, 2023

 6-9 PM
Lyon Park Community Center
414 N. Fillmore St.
Arlington, VA 22201

Tickets and More Info
Space is limited and we always have a sell-out crowd so get your tickets today if you are planning to attend!

VOLUNTEER Friday or Saturday Either Weekend

If you are interested in helping, here is a list of our volunteer needs. Go to Sign Up Genius if you can help! Feel free to sign up for more than one shift. Saturday evening volunteers will get a chance to eat & bid in the silent auction too. Please help us pack & clean everything up at the end if you can! We should be done between 10-11pm.

Help cart in supplies & set up tables & chairs. Set up prize display, registration table, silent auction, drink station, bingo supplies, decorations, etc. Set up & test/troubleshoot AV equipment. 
Any part of FRI 2-8:30pm &/or SAT 3-5:30pm.

Help with cooking spaghetti, preparing salad and garlic bread & setting up & replenishing the food buffet. Wash pots & pans, etc.
Any part of FRI 3-8:30pm &/or SAT 3-5:30pm or 5-9pm. Please sign up for Clean-Up too if you can!

Charismatic volunteers needed to take turns calling the bingo games. Instructions & some suggested scripting will be provided in advance.
SAT 5:30-9pm. Please sign up for Clean-Up too if you can! 

Check in guests, sell bingo cards & raffle tickets, help guests with silent auction check-out, etc.
SAT 5-9pm. Please sign up for Clean-Up too if you can!

Misc. tasks. Verify winning bingo cards, spot clean, collect trash, communicate guest comments/requests to Rebecca, spin the bingo ball dispenser, fill in for other volunteers’ breaks, restock dessert table, encourage guests to spend $, etc.
SAT 5-9pm. Please sign up for Clean-Up too if you can!

(Must be 21+) Keep drinks table clean & stocked, take cash & drink tickets, open & serve wine & beer.
SAT 5-9pm. Please sign up for Clean-Up too if you can!

Help clean up, pack up supplies & cart them out to the van, put tables & chairs away, take trash out, etc.
SAT 8:30-11pm

Sign Up!


There are many other ways you can help make this event a success. Please contact if you can help with any of the following.

Donate Silent Auction Items
Do you have an item of gift card to donate?  Do you have connections to a business who would like to donate goods or services?  Are you willing to help solicit donations?

Donate Bingo Prizes
Do you have fun items or small gift cards to donate for bingo prizes?  Are you willing to buy a few prizes to donate?  We will need prizes for adults and children

Donate Food and Supplies
Can you help cover the cost of food by donating spaghetti, pasta sauce, salad dressing, Parmesan cheese, soda, water or grocery store, Costco, or party store gift cards? The more we can get donated the more money we can raise for the animals!

Bake Desserts
Calling all bakers! You can get involved by donating your delicious baked goods for our dessert table. Can you help us provide a nice variety of yummy desserts by baking cookies, brownies, cupcakes etc.?  

Thank you so much for your help! We look forward to another great event!

Each year Homeward Trail spends thousands and thousands of dollars on supplies to care for our animals and support the general operations of our organization. We always strive to keep our costs as low as possible so that we can spend every extra dollar saving more lives. One simple way you can help is by donating these supplies – everything from postage stamps, to cleaning supplies, to ink catridges and paper, to dog and cat food and litter. Our wishlists are updated regularly so you can always find our most current needs. Please consider donating supplies to help us cover the cost of these items. The more we are able to get donated, the more animals we can help. Thank you!

Adoption Center Wishlist

Meow Palace Wishlist

Dog Enrichment Wishlist

Trails UP Wishlist 

Puerto Rico Wishlist


Help us turn our transport vehicles into mobile advertisements for Homeward Trails and pet adoption!

Our vehicles travel hundreds of miles each week picking up animals from our rural shelter partners and driving back and forth to spay/neuter clinics. Hundreds of miles all over the DC area and beyond while we are missing an opportunity to encourage folk to adopt from us.

In fact, we have been driving our bus around for over two years, advertising for an organization that no longer provides pet adoption. It is past time to give it the HT treatment!

The talented (and animal loving staff) at Illusions Wraps is busy designing coordinating partial wraps for both vehicles and then we will have them fabricated and installed.

We also have opportunities to advertise your business on, or both, vehicles starting at just $250.

Please email for more information.

Our Adoption Center is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM – 4 PM. No appointment necessary!

Come see us at 11116 Fairfax Station Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039.

We have many wonderful dogs waiting to meet you! The adoption process is easy – here are the simple steps to adopting your new best friend:

  1. Meet dogs
  2. Fall in love
  3. Fill out an adoption questionnaire              
  4. Speak to an Adoption Counselor
  5. Vet reference check if you have current pets or pets in the recent past
  6. Landlord check if you rent your home
  7. Complete adoption paperwork
  8. Pay adoption fee
  9. Purchase any necessary pet supplies
  10. Take home your new dog!

Can’t make it on a weekend? We may also be able to offer a weekday appointment, simply fill out the application online and a member of our Adoptions team will follow up.


Limited puppy parties are available! Weekends only between 10 AM – 7 PM


If you are looking for and unique way to reward your employees or celebrate a special occasion, consider hosting a puppy party!

For a donation, we will bring puppies to you for a one hour event!
  • At your home: minimum donation of $400
  • At your office: minimum donation of $500

Puppy parties are only available in the DC metro area.


A pizza and puppies staff appreciation event?

Cake, ice cream, and birthday puppies?

A puppy proposal?

Just need to de-stress with some puppy kisses?

The possibilities are endless!



FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. OMG puppies! Tell me all about them… How many puppies will you bring? What kind of puppies do you have? How small are they?

Because we operate under the strictest of health/vaccine protocols to protect our puppies, we will not mix puppies from different litters unless they are fully vaccinated. Thus, we will guarantee 2 puppies for a party and will certainly bring more if we have eligible puppies at that time. Please note that we cannot confirm the number or types of puppies until a few days before your party as we have no way to predict what puppies will need rescuing and will be in our system until that time.

2. Can this puppypalooza be outside?

Please note that we permit outdoor parties only when the temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees. If the temperature is lower than 65 or higher than 75, an indoor location must be secured.

3. What do you provide for this amazing experience?

We bring the following items:

  • puppies
  • water bowls
  • enclosure
4. What do I need to provide for these darling angels?

The host must provide floor covering. Newspapers and/or puppy pads are fine.

5. Can we let the puppies eat anything? Or are their sweet, wittle, round baby bellies too sensitive?

We ask that NO FOOD OR TREATS of any kind be given to the pups during the party.

6. What are your parking needs? Are the puppies being driven by a puppy chauffeur or delivered by drone?

For all parties, a secured and free (automobile) parking spot must be made available for the volunteer. If free parking is not available, it is the responsibility of the host to cover any parking costs.

7. How is payment handled? Please tell me how to give you my money so we can get these babies here to shower with adoration!

All puppy party payments must be made via PayPal invoice. You do not need a PayPal account to pay. You will receive an e-mail and invoice shortly after reserving the date of your party.

8. Can you provide insurance? (Who knew puppy party insurance was a thing? That’s so neat! We want some of that!)

If a certificate of insurance is required at your location there is an additional cost of $102.25. COIs must be requested and paid for no later than 5 business days before your event.

9. COVID, ew. How do we stay safe? 

The volunteer bringing the puppies to your event will be fully vaccinated and masked for the duration of the party.

10. This sounds like the best thing ever!! How do I book?!

To schedule your puppy party, e-mail with the following info:

  • Date
  • Time (one hour limit between 10 AM – 7 PM)
  • Full address
  • Party contact name
  • Party contact email and phone
  • Type of party (kids, adults, etc.)












The results of the 2022 Up Close & PAWSonal Photo Contest are in!

🎉Thanks to our 61 contestants and 239 donors, we raised $9,865 for the Homeward Trails Medical Fund!

And now to congratulate our winners…

🏆🐶 1st Place Overall

$1,800 raised


DAISY 1D.png

🥇🐱 1st Place Cats

$643 raised


BEBOP (right) & MIMI (left), Norgen (center), not from HT 

🥈🐶 2nd Place Dog

$590 raised


RICO 2D.png

🥈🐱 2nd Place Cat

$360 raised


YANG 2C.png

🥉🐶 3rd Place Dog

$353 raised


MIA 3D.png

🥉🐱 3rd Place Cat

$250 raised



Children are the future of animal welfare and we have long been thinking of ways to get our youth more involved in Homeward Trails in a way that is safe, fun, and educational. We have run a very popular and successful summer camp for the last 7 years and want to be able to increase the number of youth served and spread their impact throughout the year.

Each program will run one Friday evening a month in person at the Homeward Trails Adoption Center located in Fairfax Station, VA.

Pet Pals Parents Night Out

Children Ages 6-12

Cost: $40 per session

Next Session: June 24

6:00 PM – 9:30 PM

8 spaces available

Parents and caregivers can enjoy a few hours to themselves while the kids have a great time hanging out at the Adoption Center.

Pet Pals Parents Night Out is mix of humane education and fun for our youngest animal lovers. Each monthly session will follow a theme and feature a short lesson, a project to help the animals, a craft to take home, a movie (maybe with a furry friend), pizza and drinks.

Sign up below!

Homer’s Shelter Helpers

Youth ages 13-17

Cost: $25 per session

Next Session: June 17

6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

10 spaces available

Geared toward our middle and high school age animal advocates the Homer’s Shelter Helpers program is based around community service with a side of fun. We will start each session with dinner and a discussion topic to help youth learn more about understanding animals, shelter operations, and animal advocacy. We will then dive into volunteering around the shelter – sorting donations, cleaning, organizing supplies, making enrichment toys, or caring for our kitties. Youth can earn 2.5 community service hours per session.

Sign up 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!


We are thrilled to announce our “Express Trail Home” events featuring free and reduced adoption fees on select cats and dogs the last Saturday of every month.

View adoptable cats

View adoptable dogs