Shelters For The Furry

The Wolf Trap Animal Rescue (WTAR), USA

Rishi Lahoti on December 28, 2018 in Animal Welfare

According to America Humane, 56 percent of dogs and 71 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized. These appalling figures raise the urgent question of how to prevent this. The Wolf Trap Animal Rescue (WTAR), an established not-for-profit 501(c)(3) business based in Merrifield, Va, is doing its part to curb the problem. Its self-described mission is to “Operate by remote location to facilitate operations for transport, foster, and adoption events to aid in the rescue of puppies and kittens whom are at risk of euthanasia by shelters in Mississippi and other states of the South.”

Its website continues, claiming “Since May 2015, Wolf Trap Animal Rescue has successfully adopted out over 3,500 dogs & puppies, and 500 cats & kittens, for a total of over 4,000 animals rescued from euthanasia.” WTAR offers two unique services - fostering and adoption. While there is no shortage for people who want to adopt or the many animals who need a home, the organization acts like a middle man in the fostering regard. Parts of their fostering program include rescuing the dogs and cats from shelter who are in risk of euthanization and transporting them, as well as matching them with short term foster parents where the animals stay for a short period of time before being placed for adoption. As WTAR puts it, “The transports help relieve the shelters from overcrowding, thus allowing additional time and resources to be spent on the older, less adoptable residents of the shelter that would otherwise be euthanized.”

Shaila Muralidhar, a Great Falls resident, talks about why fostering is a great compromise if you love animals but do not have enough time on your hands. “If you want to hang out with a furry friend, but cannot commit yourself full-time, consider fostering a baby in need of a loving transition to their fur-ever home. So, if you can spare some love, I can tell you first-hand, it will be one of the most fulfilling experiences you can have.” If you are looking for a more permanent arrangement, WTAR also offers adoption after a thorough screening process.

The Wolf Trap Animal Rescue, run by what is described as ‘an amazing network of volunteers and fosters that are dedicated’, is headed by Dr. Amber Burton. Along with founding WTAR, she is Director of Veterinary and Rescue Operations. In 2015, WTAR was co-founded with the help of Jesse Marsh who is their Director of Finance. From their website, “So strong is his desire to care for abandoned, injured and poorly shelter animals that Jesse has taken the role of primary rescue driver to collect rescued animals from Mississippi. This involves an all-night drive, meeting in Knoxville, TN to meet shelter transport teams from Mississippi and then deliver the animals to Tysons Corner, VA.”

There is plethora of ways to help out The Wolf Trap Animal Rescue. Their next adoption event will be on December 22nd, 2018 at Tysons Corner PetSmart – 8204 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182. You can fill out their form to foster here and look at calendar dates here. If you cannot give time, you can always donate one-time or in monthly increments at this site. Feel free to check them out at

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