Cold Weather is Dangerous! Companion animals should not be left outside.
CALL 202-576-6664.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day! Love & Laughter with the Softies


Matt & Tara💗
When the Show Your Soft Side team came to Washington to take pics of one of their newest Softies, Washington Defensive End Matt Ioannidis, and his lovable pooch, Tara, Humane Law Enforcement Officer Stephon Daniels was there!
K-9 Captain, Christopher Holmes and his DC Fire/EMS and FEMA Urban Search and Rescue partner, Cazo, were photographed, too.
And, then there was Archie, the sweetest and smallest member of the Show Your Soft Side team.  So much fun!💗
For more information about the Show Your Soft Side campaign check out,

Chris and Cazo💗
💗Stephon & Matt💗

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Thank you Troop 44039

The cozy critter beds that Troop 44039 made for the animals at HRA are perfect for snuggling.   The soft, no-sew beds are just one of the many creature comforts that all companion animals should enjoy.  Please remember that not all animals are safe and warm.   Cold weather is on the way.   An arctic blast is predicted for later this week.   If you see animals who needs help, especially dogs and cats left outside in the cold, please use our 24 hour emergency number to seek help.   202-576-6664.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Cuddle Up With A Good Book!

Product DetailsIt feels like winter, the perfect time to curl up with a critter and read a good book.   I have a  couple of suggestions.

Ms. Beasely, a local third grade teacher let me borrow Catie Copley, the beautifully illustrated story of a well-mannered, people pleasing black Labrador retriever.  Catie Copley, works at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts, in the employ of Jim Carey, the hotel’s director of concierge services.   The story left me curious about what Catie might be up to currently.   As we all know, google searches provide an abundance of information quickly.   I learned that there is another canine ambassador at the hotel these days, Carly Copley.   For several years the two dogs worked side by side -- the hotel has lots of guests -- but when Catie retired, Carly began performing double duty.   And, as I continued my search, I learned that the beloved Catie Copley, born in 2001, who trained as a seeing eye dog and served as a goodwill ambassador touching the lives of thousands of hotel visitors since 2004 died in May, 2017.  The tweet announcing her death read, With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the news that our beloved Catie Copley has passed away. Her paw-some love will be missed by all,

Wish is currently on my bedside table. I'm 3/4 the way through and, so far, it is a real heart-breaker. Charlie, short for Charlemagne, is sent to live with relatives in the sticks. Charlie has no plans to stay with Bertha (her mother's kind-hearted sister) and Gus -- from the beginning she's determined to go back to Raleigh. She pines for a family that's not "broken". Charlie's mother, suffers from depression and can't get "her feet on the ground", and her dad, who she calls Scrappy, is serving jail time. Her older sister, Jackie, the lucky one, gets to stay with a friend, and Charlie is sent to live with "squirrel eating hillbillies" in a house falling off a mountain. And that's just the beginning of Charlie's "pity-party". Charlie, who wants a dog more than anything. The dog Charlie's always wanted shows up, a bedraggled, quick-to-learn stray, not unlike Charlie. But, he takes off, too, leaving Charlie bereft; not only does she lose Wishbone, the dog of her dreams, but she says the most hurtful thing imaginable to Howard, her one and only true friend in her temporary town.

And, that's where I am! Flannel jammies, lots of blankets on the bed, a mug of hot chocolate, Murphy and Charlotte snuggling close and Barbara O'Connor's (How to Steal a Dog) Wish in hand!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween! And, Words of Wisdom from Murphy!

Stay Safe.
Keep Cats and Dogs Inside.

People Treats are for People

Not Critters!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Nina Picks a Home!

This is it! I'm home!!
I have my own GREAT people
and my own ornery cat!
The surest way to pick your own family is to be the perfect dog in the foster home!   That's what Nina did.  Her foster family typically fosters little dogs.   They have placed countless dogs in forever homes, none ever weighing more than 20 lbs.  At 50 solid lbs, and 12 years-old, the fosterer knew that Nina could take a while to place.  However, Nina's foster stay was really quite short.  Not long after Nina moved into her foster home, the fosterer reported  that Nina "is a very good girl, housebroken and great around our cat...."   Two weeks ago they signed the papers, Nina's fosterers are now Nina's adopters. Congratulations all!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Allowance Aids Animals!

Nico presents Officer Cindy with his donation and she presents Nicco with a certificate of appreciation!  

Sherlock waits ....

Seven-year-old Nico recently started receiving allowance and adopted the Spend, Save, and Donate philosophy.  So, when it came time to donate to a worthy organization, there was no question who he wanted to help. The animals, of course!  After all, the young philanthropists' parents adopted two shelter cats long before Nico was born.  Plus Lin, Nico's  neighbor, close friend, and HRA volunteer, adopted a little dog last year. Missi loves when Nico visits -- they play silly games and enjoy quiet time together. 
Nico wants all animals to have life-long human companions, but in the meantime, he hopes his donation will help HRA care for animals, like Sherlock, who is patiently waiting for a place and a person that she can call her own.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Five Baby Bunnies -- Count the Dots!

Ever heard the expression "Reproducing like rabbits?"  Well, the phrase came about for a reason. The five bunnies in the window at the HRA Oglethorpe Street shelter are two months old.  Did you know that if their mother had not already been spayed she could have given birth to more babies by now?  A mama rabbit is pregnant for only 31 days and can get pregnant when her baby bunnies are just a few days old. So, if you have a bunny, make sure that your bunny is spayed or neutered.  A spayed or neutered bunny is a healthier bunny and won't be bringing more rabbits into the already crowded world of rabbits!  Call our Medical Center at (202) 726-2273 to schedule an appointment.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Enjoy the Lazy Days of Summer!

The mercury is climbing. Summer = Heat + Humidity. Good day for relaxing with a good book -- how about a classic like Beverly Cleary's Socks, originally published in 1973, reissued most recently in 2015. Socks is a happy, trouble-free cat until a baby arrives.  It takes awhile, but the attention-seeking cat learns that the new family member can be a fun playmate.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Students Do More for the Animals

Alexis hands an envelope
filled with $160 to HRA staff
Do More 24 ( is an annual event that encourages grassroots activism.  Eighth grade students at Deal Middle School in Washington, DC got jump on their local philanthropic good deeds.  Four students stopped by the shelter on Tuesday to drop off donations.  Francesca and Delanie came by first. They brought a collection of toys and two large containers of homemade dog biscuits that could have easily been mistaken for people cookies.   Less than an hour later Alexis stopped by with $160 raised from a successful bake sale.  And, a few minutes after that  Minnie showed up with a check for$113.35 that she and her friend  Linnea raised through a Go Fund Me page highlighting the plight of shelter animals.  

A day earlier,  Girl Scout Troop  1580 came by the shelter to deliver a check for $400 that was raised from their annual  cookie sale.  They met cats, dog, puppies, kittens, bunnies, and guinea pigs during their visit.  

Do More 24 is a great way to bring attention to all of the many deserving organizations in the community.   The Deal students, the Brownies, and the many other young people who do good things for the animals exemplify the importance of giving more, caring more and doing more all of the time.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Troop 4647 Positive Actions are a Change for Good

Troop 4647 are not only caring, compassionate young animal lovers, but they are awesome  Girl Scout cookie sales people who contributed $175 in cookie sales profits to help the animals at the  Humane Rescue Alliance.  And that's not all -- they  dedicated their CHANGE Project to making the world a better place for the animals in their community. Besides the monetary donation, the girls  collected and donated linens for use in the kennels and made enough toys to fill several  brightly decorated toy boxes.  During their shelter visit they learned about individual animals, the organization's mission and what they can do to continue to help the animals.   Thank you Troop 4647 for your kindness and contributions!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

125 Pet Rescues!

Available wherever books are sold and featuring Nigel, the world's best dog  Actually, there are many wonderful animals highlighted throughout National Geographic Kids' 125 Pet Rescues.  There are dogs, cats, rabbits, donkeys, horses, ducks and lots of other critters.  There's a pig who is  happily living an hour from D.C. at the Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary. Great photos, of Aseop, Beatrice and Sunshine, a turtle, an iguana and a snake currently residing at the Reptile Rescue Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. There are dogs with important jobs like Kai in San Antonio, Texas who went from a cast-off shelter dog to an investigator with the local fire department. And, cats with unusual hobbies like Kuli, the surfing cat in Hawaii.   125 heart-warming, humorous and inspiring stories, each complimented by an equally heart-warming, humorous and inspiring pictures.   And, for easy reference, Nigel is highlighted on page, 103!  Check it out

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Spring Break Camp 2017 at the Humane Rescue Alliance A Photographic Success!

Cats, dogs, guinea pigs, and bunnies waiting for forever homes; visiting therapy dogs, rescued former laboratory dogs, working dogs, and dancing dogs; and a long nature walk through Rock Creek Park!

 It was a great week!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Hammy, the Beagle, an Ambassador for Being an Educated, Cruelty-Free Consumer

Get ready, Hammy, treat coming!
Treat Please!
 Hammy the beagle, and his person, Melanie, recently visited fifth grade.   The pats, tricks, and treats were endless.  And, Hammy, a survivor of 4 years in a laboratory, was not only a welcomed visitor, but a teacher.   Students learned that that millions of animals are used for product testing every year; they saw the green tattoo in Hammy's left ear, a forever reminder of his life before being Melanie's much-loved buddy.  They learned why animals, particularly beagles, are used  in laboratories and how to identify cruelty free products.  Melanie adopted Hammy several years ago through the Beagle Freedom Project,, an organization dedicated to negotiating with laboratories world-wide to secure the release of dogs and other animals and give them a chance for a normal home life.  
Do your own research, learn the cruelty-free symbols.  Check out the products in your home.
More treats, please!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tomorrow is Dr. Seuss' Birthday

Kelis and Friends!

Get ready.  Tomorrow is the day to celebrate
Pick up a book and read,
Don’t wait!

Read to your mom, your dad or your brother.
Read to one cat or another.

Honor Horton’s creator, Dr. Seuss
With a good book and a glass of Beezle-Nut juice!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Reading, Writing and Responsible Animal Care

Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students at LaSalle Backus Education Campus listened attentively as Animal Control Officer/Wildlife Specialist Cindy Velasquez explained the joys and disappointments that come with responding to a wide range of animal rescue calls. The students were surprised to learn that PupPup, the obviously well-cared for, eager to please 3 year-old pitbull, was once a discarded puppy, suffering from parvovirus (   
PupPup routinely upstaged Officer Cindy during the 45 minute visit.  The students enjoyed floor time with PupPup and shared stories with Officer Cindy about their own animals interactions.   Thanks Officer Cindy and PupPup for visiting LaSalle Backus Education Campus!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Art for the Animals and an Adoption, Too!

Sheridan School's 7th grade students are not only awesome artists but they are crafty, resourceful  kids who decided to do something to help the animals at the Humane Rescue Alliance.   They created dog toys out of scraps from other art projects.
The dogs at the shelter serenaded visitors with the hand sewn squeaker toys and the puppies played tug with the long braids.
Many of the Sheridan School students live with rescue animals. One of the student's family adopted  a little puppy, Patagonia,  from the shelter a couple of years ago.  Cole  kindly forwarded a photo of the regal looking Bella for staff to see .   We LOVE updates.   Bella is pretty in pink!
Bella, formerly Patagonia,
all grown up!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ringling Brothers to Close Circus

Image result for circus bear clip artThis is a headline that was a long time coming.  Animal welfare activists have worked tirelessly for years to put an end to carting wild animals around for the purpose of  profit and human amusement.  
The January 15th announcement that Ringling Brothers, the grand-daddy of  circuses, would close after 100 years was welcomed news.    
The decision to disband the circus was based on economics.  The high operating costs and the decline of ticket sales, "made the circus an unsustainable business for the company," said Feld Entertainment CEO Kenneth Feld.

Image result for black bear in the wild clip artNow comes the difficult task of finding proper placement for the animals. The Washington Post's Sunday, January 22nd article, Where Will All The Animals Go,, raised the question, what now?  
The circus animals deserve to live out their lives in sanctuaries that provide an environment as close to a natural habitat as possible.   Anything less would be just plain wrong!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

New Year's Resolution -- Keep Charlotte and Murphy on a No-Weight-Gain Diet!

I took Murphy to the animal hospital for his first post-adoption, get to know the veterinarian, visit.  She said all was great, but she did offer a word of caution -- watch Murphy's weight.  

When Murphy was admitted to the shelter he weighed  a slim 11 pounds.  This morning, after a full breakfast, he weighed 14.1 pounds.   Charlotte has been instructed to eat less, exercise more, too.   

My New Year's resolution is to make sure that Murphy and Charlotte stick to their diets (less food in the bowl) and more exercise. They have each other  for support and I expect them to run laps around the house all day when I'm at work.

Murphy's trek to the vet reminded me of a book, Milton Goes to the Vet,  I used to read to Max.  Milton, a very opinionated cat,  tries to maintain control at all times. After his futile attempts to escape the dreaded carrier fail, Milton narrates the horrid journey every step of the way from the car ride to the lobby, to the meeting of the veterinarian.  The trip home is a joy ride and Milton's home reentry is uneventful.  

I could change the book title to Murphy Goes to the Vet.  Getting Murphy into the carrier proved difficult for us both.    After re-positioning the carrier and Murphy numerous times, he was packed into the large plastic carrier and on his way.  He voiced his resentment the entire ride, was feisty during the exam, and a complete gentleman on the way back and walked out of the carrier, once home, as if he had just returned from a planned vacation!

Check out Milton and Milton Goes to the Vet at

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Meet Murphy!

Murphy is Charlotte's new best friend.  She's  not yet so sure about the title, but one thing is for certain, Murphy has moved in for good and claimed the house as his.  I think Charlotte  likes him better now that he has a proper name.  His shelter name was JR and he didn't seem to know it, nor did it fit. We tried on all sorts of monikers -- Fin, Finnegan, Phineas, Reuben.  Nothing stuck.  For ten days he was NewCat or Buddy.  And then Max came home from college.  He said, "NewCat needs a name".  I told him, "Fine, you find a name for him. a really good one!" And, within minutes, Murphy became Murphy.  Inspired by Daniel Murphy, according to Max, the 'Clutch' second baseman for the Washington Nationals". Murphy NewCat is one clutch cat.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Relaying a Serious Message with an Abundance of Cuteness!

The poster can be purchased at
I saw this poster hanging in a classroom at Lasalle Backus Education campus.   I snapped a quick picture to share with a coworker who LOVES the chubby little pooches.  However, the sentiment bears constant repeating.  Not only is bullying NEVER okay, but we need to feel safe in reporting bullies and knowing that situations will be dealt with quickly and appropriately. I subscribe to the National Link Coalition's monthly newsletter,  In the  November issue were several heinous examples of animal cruelty. that  like scores of others, lead to additional violence against people.  
Bullying people or animals, hurting people or animals, is never acceptable and should not be tolerated in any form. The poster is adorable, the subject is not -- Bullying is NEVER ok. 

Monday, October 24, 2016


This blog can still be found by searching, but the Washington Humane Society and Washington Animal Rescue League's brand new name, the one that will last at least another 150 years, is the Humane Rescue Alliance.   Humane because we are kind, compassionate, and responsible; Rescue  because that's what we do; and Alliance because our organization is inclusive, not exclusive.  We are all about Animals, People and Community.  Check out our new website, it is AWESOME!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Let Dogs Be -- Don't Chop and Crop!

Cleo models in profile her silky,
soft natural right ear.
(Her left one is natural, too)
An odd title isn't it?  But not so when you consider that some dogs, born with beautiful long, silky ears and happy, wagging tails, are subjected to surgical mutilation  all in the name of appearance and breed standards.  
Karin Brulliard's  September 27th Washington Post Health Section article titled, Dogs are born with ears and tails. They should get to keep them, cited a study that found people who were shown photos of Doberman Pinschers, both with natural ears and tails and with cut tails and ears, believed that some of the dogs were born tailless with pointy ears while others were not.  To read the entire article go to:
Seems to me that we need to do a better job of educating the public about the antiquated, cosmetic practice known as ear cropping and tail docking.  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Nigel, the Best Dog in the World

When my son, Max, was in first grade he asked almost daily, “Is this the day that we are getting a dog?”  My answer remained the same,   “No, not until I find the right dog.”   After all, adopting a dog might be precipitated by a boy’s love for dogs, but ultimately it is the MOM's task to care for the dog.  

And then on December 2, 2004 we adopted not just the right dog, but the perfect dog.  Nigel, the best dog in the world, 

Dog years go by much too fast.  Recently, it had become difficult for Nigel to stand – his back legs often gave out. He was falling all of the time – he fell in yard, on walks and in the house.  He fell in the night when he tried to get up from the bed in my room to go to the bed in Max’s room.  He no longer got up for breakfast. 

On August 13, 2016,  Max and I made the difficult decision to ask the veterinarian to come to our home to humanely euthanize Nigel. 
Max left for college  three days later.  My house is now sadly silent.  Not because Max is gone – I hear his text message chirps often in response to my many questions.  But there are no Nigel sounds.  No tags jingling, no nails scraping, no old bones creaking while attempting to stand when I come home. 

I have many, many wonderful Nigel memories.  And pictures – I have lots and lots of pictures. But what I don’t have is time.  I don’t get to spend any more time with Nigel, the best dog in world.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Special Guest and his Special People Visit Caring Kids Camp -- You Can Make a Difference

When Pony and his people, Alejandro and Doug, walked into our Caring Kids -- You Can Make a Difference -- Camp the campers were struck by the alum's beauty.  But, when they learned that Pony is deaf, and that he responds to more signs than a lot of hearing animals do words, they were spellbound.   And, while Pony is super bright, it is the commitment of his adopters that struck me as extraordinary.  
According to the ASPCA -- 
The majority of pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members. 28% of dogs are purchased from breeders, and 29% of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescues.
Therefore, 70% of animals living in homes are NOT adopted from shelters.  Potential adopters considering adopting a "special needs" animal account for an infinitesimal minority of folks who walk through the shelters' doors.  Obviously, Alejandro and Doug saw that Pony is indeed special.   And shelters need more adopters like Alejandro and Doug.

Monday, July 18, 2016

An Early Morning Stroll in the Neighborhood

Guess the family of seven (I only caught four in my viewfinder) decided on a walk before it got even hotter.  The Capital Weather Gang says no end in site to this oppressive heat.  Certainly the deer know best.   We need to make sure we do right by our animal companions and keep them cool and comfortable.
  • Keep companion animals  indoors when temperatures are extreme and in the shade when they are outdoors.
  • Walk dogs  early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. (Nigel's walks are before 7:00 a.m. and after 10:00 p.m. with short potty breaks throughout the day.)
  • Provide plenty of water at all times, especially on walks, to avoid dehydration. 
  • Never ever, ever leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.  Temperatures in cars can increase rapidly and become lethal. 
  • As always, if you think your companion animal  is in distress due to the heat, call your veterinarian or the local emergency animal hospital immediately.

Monday, June 27, 2016

DC Scores at Powell Elementary School Win Big for the Animals

After an emotional discussion about the prevalence of animal cruelty and what students can do to help the animals currently housed in the Oglethorpe Street shelter, DC Scores students went into action.    
The students, whose after school program is offered at Powell Elementary School, learned that the shelter uses lots and lots of towels every day and can always use more.  So, they appealed to local hotels and asked for their discarded, but usable linens and collected 15 bags of towels for the shelter!
In addition, the students understood that better communication is needed so that folks in the community not only know how to properly care for animals, but where to report  animal control issues and incidents of animal abuse and neglect.   The students' flyer, Saving and Caring for Animals, was handed out to other soccer teams.  
Thank you DC Scores students at Powell Elementary School!