For this round of Blog the Change for Animals, I wanted to highlight an organization that has been helping animals since before I was a twinkle in my parents’ eyes.
Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) in northern Virginia has been serving the DC area since 1973. Last year, FOHA gave me a wonderful place to volunteer and a new pup in the form of Tavish. This year, FOHA celebrates its 40th anniversary.
FOHA is a no-kill shelter dedicated to saving dogs and cats, generally housing over 100 dogs and 30 cats on site at any given moment. (That’s not even counting animals in foster homes!) The organization estimates that it helps approximately 500 animals per year find their forever homes.
There are a lot of things that make FOHA special. The following information from FOHA’s website tells quite the tale – I think I’ll let it speak for itself:
FOHA continues to be unique among the local animal rescue groups in its strict no-kill policies, the quality and extent of veterinary care it provides (we treat our animals regardless of the cost), its careful adoption policies with interviews and home visits for all animals adopted, its lifetime return policy for all animals adopted, and the size and quality of our kennel facilities and an excellent staff on site. None of our animals, dog or cat, is housed in a cage. We have 110 dogs at the shelter and 30 others who require special care in foster homes. All our regular kennels are both heated and air-conditioned and have indoor areas with comfortable bedding and fenced outdoor areas where the dogs can play. Every Saturday and Sunday, dedicated volunteers come to the kennel to walk, play with and love each dog individually. We have an exercise area, pools for the dogs in summer, and forty acres of wooded trails where the volunteers walk them. In addition to our kennels, a number of elderly and long-term-resident dogs live in the Fred Sanders Memorial Village in individual houses each of which is furnished, heated and air-conditioned and has its own private run with artificial turf.
In addition to the 140 dogs in Friends’ care, we have unique facilities for healthy, feral, and FIV+ catteries (the only one in Virginia) and they too are showered with attention by their own special volunteers on the weekends. At present, approximately 60 cats live in the communal catteries, 25+ in foster homes, and 18 others in Friends’ feral colony.
Over the last four decades, Friends of Homeless Animals has saved and placed in forever homes tens of thousands of dogs and cats who would otherwise have been abandoned or killed.
When I read that, all I can think is… wow. Forty years of dedication and care. Forty years of helping animals. Inspiring, right?
If you’d like to help me honor FOHA on its 40th anniversary, here are a few options:
- Visit the FOHA website and share an adoptable dog or cat on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
- Become a fan of FOHA on Facebook.
- Follow FOHA on Twitter. (As an added incentive, I help out with the FOHA Twitter account, so you’ll get to spend even more virtual time with me.)
- Check out some of FOHA’s uplifting success stories.
- For bonus points, if you’re in the DC area, consider becoming a volunteer or doing some shopping at The Treasure Hound (a resale shop operated to support FOHA).
I know I’m inspired… and we’re just getting started. Obviously, I’m not the only blogger participating in Blog the Change for Animals today. I highly recommend you visit the other great sites blogging for the change – you can find them below. Finally, if you’re a blogger, consider writing about a cause near and dear to your heart, and then add your post to the list!