Blog Archives

Resolved to get more involved in the new year? Do you love dogs? Have you always wanted to get hands on experience volunteering at an animal shelter? Join us for our next volunteer orientation at the Homeward Trails Adoption Center located in Fairfax Station, VA and learn more about our unique dog shelter and how you can help. Please note that volunteers must be 18 years of and older.

Our next orientation will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 4:30-6:00 PM.  Space is limited so please RSVP to



The Washington Capitals and Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation are teaming up to raise money for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. The 2018 Caps Canine Calendar are now available for sale online, at the Team Store and merchandise stands at Capital One Arena during Caps home games and at the Team Store at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

This calendar features photos of Capitals players Jay Beagle, John Carlson, Taylor Chorney, Brett Connolly, Lars Eller, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin with their dogs and Nicklas Backstrom, Madison Bowey, Alex Chiasson, Christian Djoos, Tyler Graovac, Philipp Grubauer, Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Aaron Ness, Dmitry Orlov, Devante Smith-Pelly, Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker and Tom Wilson with dogs from Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. There are a limited number of 2018 Caps Canine Calendars available and each will cost $20 with all proceeds benefiting Homeward Trails. MSE Foundation and the Capitals have raised nearly $282,000 for Homeward Trails through the sale of Caps Canine Calendars since 2014.

Stay tuned to see how much money the 2018 calendar raised!


We have the perfect opportunity for you to take home a new best friend in time for the holidays! Thanks to the generous support of Zappos in partnership with the North Shore Animal League of America  adoption fees on all cats and kittens and all dogs over 5 months of age will be waived on November 25 and 26 during our Home for the Pawlidayz promotion  We will have many wonderful cats and dogs waiting to meet you!

You can meet cats and dogs at the following locations

Saturday, November 25

Homeward Trails Adoption Center (Dogs)
10 AM – 4 PM
11116 Fairfax Station Rd.
Fairfax Station, VA 22039

Petco Unleased Falls Church (Dogs)
12 PM – 2 PM
7395 Lee Highway, Suite E
Falls Church, VA 22042

PetCo Unleashed Ballston (Cats)
12 PM – 2 PM
3902 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22203

PetValu Rockville (Cats)
12 PM – 2 PM
14933 Shady Grove R, Suite J
Rockville, MD 20850

Sunday, November 26

Homeward Trails Adoption Center (Dogs)
10 AM – 4 PM
11116 Fairfax Station Rd.
Fairfax Station, VA 22039

PetValu Fairfax (Dogs)
12 PM – 2 PM
3069 Nutley St SW
Fairfax, VA 22031

View Our Adoptable Animals Here

View Adoptable Cats

View Adoptable Dogs

*Please note that adoption fees will be waived for adoptions finalized November 25 and 26 only.  We expect our events to be very busy during Home for the Pawlidayz weekend, you can expedite the adoption process by bringing your current pets’ vet records, a copy of your lease or landlord letter stating you are permitted to have pets, and photos of your home. Animals are adopted on a first come, best fit basis.

A huge thank you to everyone who donated and shared, and to our wonderful business partners for helping make Giving Tuesday a huge success. You help us raise over $43,000 to help animals in need.  Thank you!


Thank you to our Giving Tuesday Sponsors:


Come out to Pet Valu in Rockville (14933 Shady Grove Road) on Saturdays, from Noon – 2 pm to meet and adopt adorable cats kittens.

Please, please spread the word and come meet many fabulous felines! We so want to get these cuties placed so that we can rescue more.



We are thrilled to be participating in Pit Bull Appreciation Day DC and showing off some of our fabulous adoptable pit bull types including our recent Hurricane Harvey Rescues.

Come out and enjoy a fun-filled day for pit bull lovers and adopt one of our amazing dogs.  Adoption fees for Homeward Trails dogs attending will be waived thanks to a generous grant from Lagunitas Brewing Company.


Thank you!





The Spooky Paws Stroll benefits Doorways for Women and Families and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. The event also raises awareness of the impact of domestic violence and homelessness on both humans and pets.


Saturday, October 28, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Loop at Market Common Clarendon
2700 Clarendon Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201



This family- and dog-friendly event benefits Doorways for Women and Families and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Dogs walk for free, but you do not have to have a dog to participate! Past event highlights have included the following:

  • Trick-or-treating at local businesses
  • Doggy costume contest
  • Goodie bags for all participants
  • Fun prizes
  • Agility course provided by Frolick Dog and more!

Click Here to Register Today!

NEW this year—Can’t attend the dog walk, but still want to join in the fun? Participate in our online pet costume contest! Submit a photo of your pet and invite your friends to vote. Learn more and enter your pet now at







Come join us and some adoptable pups on August 5 for a day of dogs and wine!  The Winery at La Grange  will be celebrating a new release wine with a portion of the bottle sales going to Homeward Trails Animal Rescue!

This is a great opportunity for a fun HT alumni reunion so bring those adopted pups and meet other awesome HT adopters!

Bring your four legged friends (on a leash!) or find a new friend that day! Live music from Pete Baker 2-6pm and Cafe Havana Food Truck will be there all day! There will be fun activities for your pups as well!

Dog Day at Winery at La Grange
Saturday, August 5
12 PM – 8 PM
4970 Antioch Rd.
Haymarket, VA 20169


On behalf of Owney the Dog, the famed four-legged friend of the US Postal Service (he is on a stamp!), the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum cordially invites you to the Dog Days of Summer Family Festival. The program activities will take place throughout the museum on Saturday, July 29, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

When his original owner had to leave him behind, Owney was adopted by the owner’s colleagues at the Albany, New York post office. In 1888, he began to ride with the mailbags on trains across the state and then later throughout the entire country. It was not his assigned duty to guard mail during his travels, but historic accounts suggest he was very protective of mail bags. Owney’s dedication often lead him to acts of selfless heroism, once even staying behind with a mailbag that accidentally fell off the train.

In honor of Owney’s story, we are teaming up with local animal rescue groups and the Amtrak Police K-9 Unit. We will have demonstrations to showcase the work of K-9 dogs and other fun and hands-on activities inside the museum. In our outdoor terrace space, we are hosting an adoption fair. NPM will be partnering with rescue groups such as the Humane Rescue Alliance, City Dogs Rescue and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Though the majority of animals that are available for adoption will be dogs, there will be cats as well.

Come join us at the Dog Days of Summer Family Festival to get to know Owney the Dog, and understand the role animals play in our postal system to help transport and protect mail.

Adoption Fair

Owney the Dog made the Albany, New York post office his forever home, but making a post office a home isn’t for every pup. From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, our program partners – Humane Rescue Alliance, City Dogs Rescue and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue will be set up on the museum terrace space, bringing in rescue dogs and cats who are looking for their forever homes. Some of the rescue animals are available for adoption on the same day, but others need to go through an additional process before you can take them home.  Whether you are looking to adopt or not, come visit and meet some of the furry friends who need a home. The animal you adopt at the Festival may become famous one day, just like Owney!

K-9 Demonstration with Amtrak Police

While U.S. mail is mainly moved by trucks and planes these days, there are still some courier companies using rail as a mean to transport packages.  The USPS had a contract with Amtrak to carry mail until 2004, and the Post Office benefited from the diligent work of law enforcement and K-9 units as they not only protected people on board, but also cargo and mail. Today, their main focus is protecting people, but the Amtrak K-9 Unit has been a very important part of the U.S. mail story. Sergeant Micah Jones from the Amtrak Police Department and his partner Summer, a female yellow Labrador, will demonstrate what their patrol routine looks like.  Join us for demonstrations at 11:30 am and again at 2:00 pm in the Museum Atrium.

Scavenger Hunt

Go on a scavenger hunt and receive a medal of completion after you finish your journey through the museum. Find objects that are related to unique roles animals play in the postal system and try your hand at various activities that are both fun and educational.

Make an Owney Puppet

Make your museum visit more fun by creating an Owney puppet! Let your creation follow you around, just like Owney accompanied postal clerks on their travels.

Story Corner

Join us for a special story time about Owney the Dog and other animals that help carry mail. Story time begins every half hour in the Museum Atrium.

Owney, the Mail-Pouch Pooch by Mona Kerby

Mule Train Mail by Craig Brown

Owney the Dog Mo-‘woof’-vie Theater

In our temporary Mo’woof’vie Theater, watch the true story of Owney come to “life” with beautiful animation, a fun (and historically accurate) story, and the deep grandfather baritone of Trace Adkins! Sing along to a catchy theme song, “Owney: Tales from the Rail.”

Tracking Paws: Map Owney’s Travels

Owney’s wide-spread travels left him with almost 400 tokens and tags that mark different places he visited. By looking at some of these tokens and tags, see if you can tell which cities he has traveled to, and where they are located on the map!  At this station, you can also create your tag which you can attach to your paper puppet Owney to mark his travels.

Mule Mail Challenge

We have numbers of dog related postal stories, but there are other animal that should steal your attention. In Supai, Arizona, a Mule Train delivers mail down to a small village located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  What do you think are the top 3 things you couldn’t live without and would want delivered if you lived at the bottom of the Grand Canyon? Delivering mail by mule may sound fun, but making it work comes with some challenges. See if you are up for the challenge by trying our agility course which simulates the Mule Train mail delivery. Compete with your friends or family members to see which one of you can deliver mail the fastest to the bottom of the canyon!

Ice Pops Give Away

Washington DC summer heat can be brutal, but we got you a little special treat for making a trip to the Family Festival on one of the hottest days of summer. We ask you to either participate in a hands-on activity in the museum (you will receive a ticket), or take a selfie with Owney and post it to your social media account to claim your free icy goodness.

Saturday, July 29
10 AM – 3 PM
National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20013-7012



Wags n’ Whiskers is a community-oriented event for animal loving shoppers of all ages to spend an afternoon at The Village at Shirlington with their pet. The event features 65+ onsite exhibitors ranging from pet services and accessories to onsite adoptions. In addition to the onsite exhibitors, Wags n’ Whiskers hosts pet photos ($5), live music, and children’s activities such as face painting, balloon art, strolling entertainment and more.  Bring your pup out for a day of fun and stop by the Homeward Trails booth to meet our wonderful adoptable dogs!

Plus, stop by Dogma Bakery on our lower level during Wags n’ Whiskers and register for a chance to win a Pet Gift Basket valued at $75.

Saturday, August 26, 2017
The Village at Shirlington
2700 S. Quincy St.
Arlington, VA 22206