Tour of Prince William Animal Service Center: An Interesting Experience
On June 28, 2023, members of the Woodbridge Woman’s Club toured the remodeled Prince William Animal Service Center, an experience that left a lasting impression on attendees. A slide presentation highlighting the Center's history was delivered by Nancy Tarr, Program Coordinator, who manages the Volunteer and Fostering Programs. Ms. Tarr explained the significant difference between the old, small facility and the new state-of-the-art 67,000 square foot facility which opened in 2022. She also mentioned the Center’s commitment to reaching out to the community regarding new and inclusive adoption policies.
It was heartening to learn of the large number of stray cats and dogs that the Center compassionately puts up for adoption each year. In 2022, over 1,100 cats, 600 dogs, and 465 other animals were adopted. However, what was truly amazing was the inclusion of other unexpected animals, such as goats, snakes, and various wild creatures in the adoption program. The Center's website (www.PWCva.gov/animal control) is an invaluable resource to the public, offering photos and information about the animals available for adoption. It lists hours and directions for animal enthusiasts who want to visit and meet potential companions in person.
The Prince William County Police Department’s Animal Control Bureau oversees the enforcement of animal welfare laws, conducts educational seminars, and operates the Animal Services Center. The dedicated Animal Control Officers enforce both county and state animal care and control laws. Their responsibilities include investigating complaints of animal cruelty and neglect, quarantine of animals that have bitten humans, providing 24-hour services for injured animals and other animal emergencies, conducting public education on animal laws and care during disasters, and removing stray animals from streets and public areas.
At the heart of the Center's philosophy is a belief that every animal's life is worth preserving. While they strive to save as many animals as possible, they acknowledge that euthanasia may be necessary for aggressive, unhealthy, or injured animals. Importantly, the Center does not resort to euthanizing animals due to lack of space or after a designated period of time.
After the insightful lecture, our tour was led by the knowledgeable docent and member of WWC, Karen Townsend. She was eager to present the state-of-the-art kennels and cat enclosures, revealing the modern facilities that provide comfort and care to the animals in their temporary homes.
Overall, the tour of Prince William Animal Service Center left us with gratitude for the dedicated team of individuals working daily to promote animal welfare and make a bright future for the animals in their care. It is evident there are many reasons to support their mission and share information about responsible pet adoption and animal care within our community.