Alliance Magazine Summer 2018

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Summer 2018

Animals. People. Community.



Humane Rescue

Alliance Using

Innovative Ideas for

the Animals of the

DC Region


Dear Friends,

Cruelty/Neglect Reports:

202-723-5730, press 1

Cruelty reports accepted 24 hours a day.

Animal-Related Emergencies:

202-576-6664, press 1

Main Number: 202-723-5730

Adoptions (New York Ave.):


Adoptions (Oglethorpe): Ext. 503

Behavior and Training: Ext. 236

Development: Ext. 315

Finance: Ext. 326

Media Inquiries: Ext. 267

Special Events: Ext 323


71 Oglethorpe Street, NW

Washington, DC 20011

Adoption Hours: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. daily

Closed for adoptions on Mondays.

1201 New York Avenue, NE

Washington, DC 20002

Adoption Hours: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. daily

Closed for adoptions on Mondays.

Stray animals are accepted

24 hours a day at New York Ave.


Gregory Riegle.......................Chair

Steven Bralove.......................First Vice President

Lisa LaFontaine .....................President and CEO

Mary Schapiro.........................Treasurer

Lois Godfrey Wye................ Secretary

Nina Benton

Priscilla Clapp

Pamela DeLoach-Jupiter

Jackie Dobranski, DVM

Louie Dweck

Theresa Fariello

Anissa Grossman

Leslie Harris

William Herman

Joseph Howe

Kenton Keith

Erika Kelton

Erica May-Scherzer

Matthew Parker, MD

Laird Patterson

Susan Ridge

Hon. Carol Schwartz

Lauren Talarico DVM, DACVIM


Andrew Weinstein

Charles Weir

Jean Whiddon

Gywn Whittaker

Drew Willison

Jeff Wilson

One of the many reasons I’m proud of the work we do at the

Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) is our desire to evolve. The

needs of the animals and the people who care for them are

constant. But the way in which we strategically address those

needs is continuously changing.

In this issue of Alliance, we are highlighting several examples

of our organization creating change to better the lives of

Washington, DC’s animal population and assisting the people

who care for them.

When we created HRA, we initiated a plan to address one of our

most urgent needs - a mobile veterinary clinic. The need was


1. Our shelter location on New York Avenue does not have

adequate medical facilities. When we intake animals to that

facility, they must endure a stressful journey across the city

aboard a transport vehicle to our Oglethorpe Street location where they are treated for medical

issues, including spay/neuter and vaccines. With our mobile unit based at New York Avenue,

we have alleviated that added stressful situation for our animals.

2. Many neighborhoods in our city are underserved when it comes to veterinary care. The

importance of spay/neuter and vaccines to the welfare of our pets cannot be overstated. But

for many of our clients, transporting their pets to our facilities is problematic. The solution: bring

the vet clinic to their neighborhoods.

Through very generous donations, we purchased a mobile veterinary clinic that will address both

of these needs. Spay/neuter in the mobile unit has already begun and we hope to bring the mobile

veterinary clinic into neighborhoods in the future.

Another addition to our veterinary practice has certainly created change in the lives of our animals.

We launched a strategic partnership with the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary

Medicine (VMCVM) in May. The partnership addresses two needs: to provide expanded education

for veterinary students at VMCVM and provide an increased capacity for quality veterinary services

to the Washington, DC region through HRA. We will now be able to augment the number of animals

we care for exponentially. The program establishes an innovative model in veterinary medicine,

education, and animal welfare and we are thrilled to have the students at both of our locations.

Of course, many of you – our supporters – know about our work rescuing, caring for, and adopting

animals. Every case has a story, but this month we’re highlighting two in particular that demonstrate

our dedication to each animal and our willingness to go the extra mile for animals in need. A cat

named Snuggle Muffins arrived at HRA after suffering severe burns to his head. He required delicate,

attentive care from our medical team in order to heal and be ready for adoption. With his wounds

healed, our adoptions and care staff are completely committed to finding a home for this sweet cat.

The story of Marco and Ronald, two dogs who suffered extreme neglect in their previous home

and lived with us for 20 months as their Humane Law Enforcement case played out, is a dramatic

example of an animal being touched by virtually every corner of our organization. After our HLE

officers brought them in from harm’s way, our caregivers, trainers, and medical team worked

with these two dogs to address their poor health and lack of socialization. Our development and

communications teams raised money and awareness for their cases, and our adoptions team

identified potential adopters that would understand their special situations. After an animal cruelty

conviction of their previous owner and an adoption for Ronald, both dogs are progressing to a

much happier life.

As you read more in depth about the ways HRA continues to create change – positive change – for

the animals and our community, you can be assured that we will never stop evolving and creating

new, innovative programs to enhance the lives of the animals and people who live here.

Enjoy your summer!

All the best,

Lisa LaFontaine


Going Mobile

The future is in motion with a new

mobile veterinary clinic at HRA

By Dr. Joshua Woolsey, Chief Medical Officer

The Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) faces many challenges

each day in caring for the District’s animals. At the top of that

list is transportation. Enter the solution: a 33-foot mobile

veterinary clinic brightly adorned with the faces of a few of

the cats and dogs HRA has helped in the past. But this clinic

doesn’t just look good on the outside. The custom-designed,

state-of-the-art, diesel vehicle is a self-contained veterinary

hospital on wheels. It is equipped with a two-table surgical

suite, treatment area, and cages to accommodate upwards

of twenty animals at a time. It is capable of operating

remotely on generator power or with a stationary electrical

hook-up. It was designed with ultimate flexibility in mind

and it can easily accommodate routine surgeries, dental

procedures, and wellness veterinary services. It can even

act as a mini teaching hospital for students participating in

HRA’s groundbreaking new collaboration with the Virginia-

Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Most importantly,

it will enhance the care of the animals HRA serves.

Following the historic merger of The Washington Animal

Rescue League and the Washington Humane Society that led

to the creation of the Humane Rescue Alliance, the National

Capital Spay Neuter Clinic on L Street was closed. As a result,

each day, animals requiring spay or neuter surgeries and other

medical procedures are transported from the main shelter

facility on New York Avenue to the HRA Medical Center on

Oglethorpe Street. This daily movement of animals across

the city requires significant staff time and resources and it

can be very stressful for animals. Stressed animals are much

more likely to suffer from contagious disease and experience

behavioral deterioration while under our care. This can lead to

longer stays in the shelter and, in rare cases, it can even set

the animal on a downward spiral that may ultimately result in

euthanasia. By deploying the new mobile veterinary clinic at

the New York Avenue adoption center, HRA veterinarians will

be able to perform thousands of surgeries on-site each year,

eliminating the need to transport these animals.



HRA’s donors were instrumental in securing the vehicle and

making life better for our animals. The Philip L. Graham Fund

provided a critical lead gift, joined by the KOIVU Fund and the

Ralph S. and Frances R. Dweck Family Foundation. In addition,

more than 400 online donors collectively gave $45,000 to

support the purchase of the vehicle. Paired with funds in a

reserved account, these supporters enabled HRA to make this

important investment.

Although the initial motivation for purchasing the mobile clinic

was to address the daily challenge of transporting shelter

animals for surgery, it will also free up space and other resources

to increase the number of surgery slots available to the public

at the HRA Medical Center. This will allow HRA to better serve

the incredible demand that exists in the community for these

“ ”

HRA’s donors were instrumental in securing the

vehicle and making life better for our animals.


services. The medical team is also very excited

about the prospect of one day soon taking the clinic

on the road to serve District residents more directly.

Through their work each day with the public, HRA

staff understands that transportation can be a major

challenge for pet owners too. Despite the best

intentions, it can be very hard for some people to

get their animals to a veterinary clinic for care. HRA

already operates numerous vaccine clinics each

year throughout the city and this vehicle will allow

us to take our services directly to the people and

pets who need them the most. The mobile clinic

also has tremendous potential to help animals in the

event of natural or man-made disasters.

Although it is difficult to predict all of the challenges

that HRA will face in coming years, it seems clear

that the mobile clinic will be another powerful tool

to accomplish the mission of helping animals and

people in the District.




From adorable adoptables to cute and captivating animal stories—we love it all.

Join us on your favorite social networks to be the first to know about the latest

HRA news and updates, as well as photos and videos that are sure to put a smile

on your face. We also want to hear from you! Tag us in your #AdoptHRA and

#WeAreHRA posts. Below are some of our furravorites that you’ve shared.








A Long Road to Happiness

By Alix John, Communications

and Digital Media Specialist

When Marco and Ronald, two American Bulldog-mix dogs,

were found by Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) Humane Law

Enforcement (HLE) officers in September 2016, they were

confined in small crates and so emaciated officers could see

their ribs, backbones, and hip bones. They showed signs of

chronic neglect, including infected pressure sores, strong

urine odor, and discolored fur. They were removed from the

home and placed in the care of the Humane Rescue Alliance.

After a year-long investigation and court case, and because

of the hard work and dedication of our officers, their previous

owner was convicted of animal cruelty. With the legal process

behind them, Marco and Ronald were ready for a fresh start.

The horrific abuse they endured had a lasting impact on them.

While Marco and Ronald have been in our care, our behavior

and training staff and volunteers worked extensively to build their

trust and get them ready for the real world. While they made

great strides, each pup will need a separate home, with families

who understand their specific needs and are willing to work with

and love them. Despite their challenges, Marco and Ronald are

extremely sweet and won the hearts of staff and volunteers.

On May 19, Ronald got a big break. A couple, Hannah and Jeff

from Washington, DC, had visited Ronald multiple times while

he was at our Oglethorpe Street adoption center. While they

were aware of Ronald’s difficult past, they quickly fell in love

and took the plunge, adopting him and bringing him to his first

true, loving home.

“Though we knew he was a special dog from the moment we

met him at HRA, now that he is home I truly cannot imagine a

dog who would bring us more joy,” said Hannah. “Thank you

to every employee and volunteer at HRA who went above and

beyond in their care for Ronald. We are so grateful to HRA for

bringing this amazing pup into our lives.”

“This case is a testament to the work of our HLE officers to

protect the animals of our city,” said HRA Vice President of

Field Services, Chris Schindler. “It has been a very long road

with these animals and many people have put in a lot of time

and effort over the past year and a half.”

For Marco, adoption is hopefully not far off. He is a bit more

tentative than his brother and patient adopters that are willing

to let him learn at his own pace.

These two dogs have touched virtually every corner of HRA.

From the initial rescue by our Humane Law Enforcement

officers, through the constant care provided by HRA’s animal

caregivers, behaviorists, trainers, and volunteers, to the hard

work by our adoptions team to identify new forever homes

for them, they are an example of the dedication and lengths

to which the HRA staff will go to ensure the best possible

outcome for our animals.


partner Spotlight

Dottie Fitzgerald:

Creating Change for Animals

with Creativity and Dedication

By Kit Gartland, Corporate and Foundation Giving Manager

Dottie Fitzgerald has long been passionate about creating

change in her community. From her position as Vice President

of Fitzgerald Auto Mall, which represents twelve dealerships

across three states, Dottie is a dedicated advocate for many

causes, including animal welfare. Since 2013, Fitzgerald has

partnered with the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) to promote

adoptions, participate in events, and raise money to support

our programs.

“I so admire the heroes of rescue - - they are angels on Earth

and they have accomplished much - but there is so much

more to be done,” said Dottie Fitzgerald. “You can stroke a

check and go on your way or, you can find a way to do more.”

Through this partnership with Fitzgerald, HRA is given the

opportunity to host several adoption events outside of the

District and reach a wider range of potential adopters. These

events have changed the lives of more than 200 animals

who have found their forever homes at Fitzgerald events,

and countless others who have benefitted from Fitzgerald’s

ongoing pet food and supply drives.

Fitzgerald has also helped HRA build and strengthen

partnerships with other companies like Subaru through their

Share the Love and Subaru Loves Pets programs, which

donate a portion of sales of each new car sold or leased. As a

Hometown Charity partner selected by Fitzgerald Auto Mall,

the Share the Love program has raised over $160,000 since

2015 to support HRA’s work in the community. By building this

connection, Fitzgerald is contributing to a robust and diverse

funding stream to keep HRA’s programs strong and, ultimately,

help more animals find loving homes.

Dottie and her team at Fitzgerald Auto Mall are clearly

dedicated to promoting positive change in our community,

for people and animals alike. And, by thinking “outside the

box,” they have created an adoption community within their

customer base.



(Continued from page 9)

“While adoption events are expected at animal support

retailers, what about other retailers? How about your local

auto dealership?” Dottie continued. “Thanks to our many

loyal customers and caring associates, we have some name

recognition and a good database. We held our first adoption

event in December 2013 and we received such positive

feedback, we decided we could do more to raise awareness

of the joy of adoption. By holding events every other month,

rotating through our Montgomery and Frederick County

locations in Maryland, we have been credited with over 200

adoptions to date.”

HRA is extremely grateful for Fitzgerald’s efforts in support of

our work and we are humbled by their continued commitment

to our mission for animals.

HRA: Caring for the


By Dani Rizzo, Digital Director

From preventative medicine and infectious disease control to emergency care, shelter

veterinarians must be able to adapt to the ever-changing needs of a shelter environment

and provide innovative solutions and care for some of the community’s most vulnerable

populations of animals. Nowhere is that more evident than at the Humane Rescue Alliance.

Our medical team is dedicated to caring for and helping to change the outcome for the more

than 20,000 animals they serve annually. One of those animals is Snuggle Muffins.


In early January, community cat Snuggle Muffins came to

his caregiver’s yard for his nightly meal and they immediately

recognized something was wrong and called the Humane Rescue

Alliance (HRA) for help.

Animal Control Officer Ryan Jesien responded to the urgent call

and was able to locate Snuggle Muffins, a grey-colored domestic

short hair cat, with a traumatic wound to his forehead. Slowly,

Officer Jensien was able to gain his trust and safely confine

Snuggle Muffins, after which he was transported directly to our

emergency partner Friendship Hospital for Animals for urgent

evaluation and supportive care overnight.

“Given the severe head trauma, his demeanor was remarkable—he

was incredibly friendly and outgoing,” said Officer Jesien. “Once he

trusted me and it was clear I was there to help, he began soliciting

attention, head butting, and even making biscuits when I placed him

in a carrier.”

When Snuggle Muffins arrived at the Humane Rescue Alliance

Medial Center the next morning, it was unclear what had

happened, but the medical team quickly began treating a large

head wound, in which nearly the entire crown of his head showed

exposed muscle and a small central area of skull exposed, in

addition to the appearance of a previous burn-like injury to the

area. Throughout this incredible trauma, the medical staff noted

that he was bright, alert, and very affectionate.

After months of critical care by our medical team and three

surgeries to repair his head wound, Snuggle Muffins was finally

feeling better and found a new loving family.

Throughout his journey, no matter how much pain he was in,

Snuggle Muffins remained friendly and loving, and is not only a

testament to the resiliency of animals, but to the intensive, roundthe-clock

care our entire medical and animal care teams are

committed to providing to each animal in our care.




Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

and Humane Rescue Alliance embark on a unique strategic

partnership to benefit veterinary students and shelter animals

By Matt Williams, Senior Director of Communications

The news just keeps getting better for DC’s animal population,

as the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) and the Virginia-

Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia

Tech (VMCVM) have launched a strategic partnership to

provide expanded education for veterinary students and

an increased capacity for quality veterinary services to the

Washington, DC region. The program establishes an innovative

model in veterinary medicine, education, and animal welfare.

Veterinary students began working at HRA on May 7.

“We are thrilled to launch this partnership, which will be

transformational for the animals and people of our region

and beyond,” said HRA President and CEO Lisa LaFontaine.

“Virtually all of the 10,000+ animals we house in a given year

need medical care of some kind. Through this affiliation, we

have access to a pool of third-year veterinary students who

can lend their hands, heads, and hearts to our mission – and

hopefully, carry their experience with us into their professional


The overall impact of the partnership will include a significant

improvement in healthcare delivery to HRA animals, enhanced

practical experience for students, and the establishment of

an innovative model of public and private collaboration for

veterinary medicine, education, and animal welfare.

“This partnership creates a win-win situation,” said Gregory Daniel,

interim dean of the veterinary college. “It will enhance learning

opportunities for our students and provide them with valuable

experiences in clinical medicine, and also benefit the health and

well-being of the animals and residents in the Washington, DC

area. We are pleased to welcome HRA to our network of clinical

service and research collaborators in the national capital region.”

Key benefits of the partnership include:

1. Expanded experiential clinical education to VMCVM

students, taking advantage of HRA’s large and diverse

caseload to further their education in general surgical,

medical, and emergency care, and the unique aspects of

shelter medicine.


2. Increased capacity for HRA to provide quality

veterinary services to homeless animals and

to offer high-quality, high-volume care to

low income households, thereby fostering

responsible pet ownership and addressing pet


3. Providing an opportunity for VMCVM to

establish a major regional teaching facility in

Washington, DC and to serve as a focal point

for animal welfare and veterinary medicine

education in the national capital region.

The agreement establishes a shelter and homeless

companion animal medicine program to provide

educational opportunities for the students while

also enhancing the HRA clinical programs. The

agreement also provides a spay/neuter and

primary care service to further enhance the ability

for the community at-large to provide responsible

pet ownership and better manage population.

A group of seven third-year students began

clinical training at HRA on May 7, becoming the

first to participate in the 3-week shelter medicine

rotation, now a requirement in the college’s

veterinary program curriculum. Students will gain

hands-on experience in general surgical, medical,

and emergency care, animal welfare, and the

unique aspects of shelter medicine in an urban


“It is really exciting to launch this partnership that

not only gives our students access to a highquality,

high-volume shelter medicine program,”

said Jennifer Hodgson, associate dean for

professional programs for VMCVM. “It also gives

HRA increased capacity to provide quality care for

homeless animals and to offer expanded services

to underserved populations.”

To accommodate the expanded learning and

service, HRA veterinarian Dr. Julia Petrovitch, joined

VMCVM this month as the on-site faculty member

who will partner with other HRA veterinarians

and staff to provide instruction for the students

and superior care for patients and clients. Dr.

Petrovitch will be a clinical assistant professor in the

Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences for










FINAL_NEW_BB_2018_HRAlliance_NOW_4.25X5.5_r4.indd 1



2/26/2018 11:45:11 AM

hra: Your Destination for animal

news from around the Country



The Humane Rescue Alliance’s animal

welfare news feed compiles the day’s

top headlines, from adoption and

rescue, to news about wildlife

protection and legislation.

Sign up to receive animalrelated

news delivered

straight to your inbox.


Recognizing a need for a central source for news coverage of animal


welfare topics and issues, the Humane Rescue Alliance has launched


a news site and daily news letter of all news related to animal welfare

policy, shelters, adoption, veterinary science, and behavior. The HRA

Hello and Welcome to the Fashion for Paws 12th Annual Runway Show!



is in the air, and


we are silly with




for this year’s






showcases the


latest spring

available through a free

styles our awesome fundraising ambassadors and their furry friends. We are honored to be co-chairing


the event again and incredibly proud of our fundraisers’ hard work and tireless efforts to raise awareness and

gain support for this special, one-of-a-kind luxury event benefiting the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA).

Tonight is sure to be the perfect mix of style, sass, and super-fierce sashaying down the runway!

HRA’s news feed compiles pertinent media stories about animal

welfare issues from sources throughout the United States,

including major daily newspapers, websites, blogs, and other

news organizations. The news feed, located on HRA’s homepage,

compiles interesting and informative news stories dealing with the

animal welfare world, from adoption and rescue, to news about

wildlife protection and legislative matters concerning the health

and safety of animals. At no cost, readers can subscribe to a daily

email highlighting the top stories each day as well as view the entire

newsfeed at www.humanerescuealliance.org/news. The daily

email lands in your inbox every morning shortly after 9 a.m., updating

you on the news cycle’s top animal-related stories. You can join the

hundreds of readers – including many of the top animal welfare

experts in the U.S. – already subscribed to the HRA news feed by

easily subscribing.

To say that we were excited and grateful when television personality and celebrity stylist, Carson Kressley

announced he’d be returning as our host for the second year would be an extreme understatement.

Kressley’s effervescent and light-hearted banter is the perfect accouterment to this evening’s fun-loving

mood. We are honored to have him support our beloved Fashion for Paws!

A huge thank you to this year’s Fashion for Paws committee members

who have volunteered their time and hard work to make this year’s

event a truly extraordinary experience for our guests, as well

as our sponsors and fundraisers. With their creativity,

team work, and tireless efforts, we are able to support

HRA’s programs that touch over 60,000 animals a

year and countless members of the community

who need HRA’s help to care for their pets.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors,

honored guests, fabulous fundraisers, and

YOU we can continue the important work of

HRA as we strive to help even more animals

and people this coming year. We invite you

to learn more about HRA’s mission by

talking to any of our volunteers this evening

or by visiting us online at www.


Again, thank you for being here and we hope

you have a spectacular evening!

Yours most sincerely,

Teresa and Jeff

Fashion for Paws

Fashionable 12th Annual FUNdraising


Show Recap

By Emily Miller, Director of Special Events

Subscribe today and stay informed!

On Saturday, May 5 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, more

than 700 guests reveled in a one-of-a-kind event, the Fashion for Paws

12th Annual Runway Show. This year’s event featured a fashion show with

39 participants and their dogs sporting this season’s hottest trends, as well

as a reception, dinner, and dancing. With the help of our incredible donors

and fundraisers, we raised $385,000 to support the programs and services

that HRA provides to the community. We welcomed back Carson Kressley,

Emmy award-winning TV personality, style expert, and fashion designer, as

our event host for the second year. He presided over the program, keeping

guests laughing throughout the evening.

Photo by Moshe Zusman


Participants competed in a friendly, 15-week

fundraising campaign, raising a minimum of

$4,000 each to secure their spot on the runway.

The top participants, who were recognized on

stage at the event, raised a combined total of

$81,651. The 2018 Top Fundraisers, Teresa and

Mark Del Rosso, raised an astounding $30,000;

the First Runner-Up, Deb Sengupta, raised

$26,151; and the Second Runners-Up, HRA’s

own Joel Lopez and Kareem Woodard, raised

$25,500. We are truly grateful for the support

of these incredible individuals, and all of our

fundraising participants. We cannot thank them

enough for their commitment and dedication to


For the first time, the Fashion for Paws program

showed attendees the many services HRA

provides to the community by highlighting the

story of Finn and his owners, Carly and Ray. This

heartwarming story of how HRA was able to

Photo by Christine Peeler

Photo by Vithaya Phongsavan Photography






September 22 | 11AM | The Yards Park





WFA_2018_ad_5.5X8.5_Alliance_r4.indd 1

(Continued from page 15)

5/24/2018 1:32:42 PM

save a dog’s life and reunite him with his family gave guests real

insight into how HRA’s Medical Center is a lifesaving resource for

families in our community.

Katya Avdeev, Kim Elleen, Mila Fashion, Studio D’Maxsi, Suistudio,

and Wylie Grey were our women’s clothing sponsors, while our

male models were dressed by luxury retailers Paul Stuart, Suit

Supply, and Zadig & Voltaire. Participants had perfect hair and

makeup graciously provided by PR at Partners. All of the pups

looked stunning in signature doggie couture by Anthony Rubio.

They were well taken care of thanks to the team from Spot On Dog

Training, Power City Pups, and HRA’s own volunteers.

Thanks to the always-creative Design Foundry who wowed us,

along with Quince Imaging, John Farr Lighting, and Maryland

Sound, for donating a portion of their services and transforming

the hotel ballroom into a spectacular space. We were honored to

have Audi return for a seventh year as a Top Dog sponsor.

Thanks to our event Co-Chairs, Executive Committee, participants,

and volunteers who spent their evening helping us make the

Fashion for Paws 12th Annual Runway Show a night to remember!

Photo by Moshe Zusman










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