Animal related

Washington Animal Rescue League

  • Washington, DC

Mission Statement

The mission of the Washington Animal Rescue League is to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome animals who have nowhere else to go. We are committed to strengthening and preserving the human-animal bond by supporting animals in their homes through affordable veterinary care, community outreach and education.

The Washington Animal Rescue League invites interested people to visit our website to view the many ways in which we are achieving successful outcomes for thousands of animals and humans per year.  Please check our website at or read our annual report at .

Main Programs

  1. Our Shelter and Dog and Cat Adoptions
  2. Medical Center
  3. Humane Education

ruling year


chief executive

Mr. Robert A. Ramin

Self-reported by organization


Animal Adoption Facility, Shelter, Veterinary Hospital, Low-income pet guardians, Disaster relief, Puppy Mill rescue, animal rehabilitation

Self-reported by organization

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Physical Address

71 Oglethorpe Street

Washington, 20011

Also Known As



Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

Veterinary Services (D40)

Animal Training, Behavior (D61)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

Celebrating its Centennial Anniversary in 2014, the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) was the first animal shelter to open its doors to animals in need in the District of Columbia. Unlike many other animal shelters, WARL does not receive taxpayer funds.

Some of WARL's accomplishments in 2014 include:
• 1,486 animals adopted (933 dogs, 553 cats)
• Sheltered 68 animals from emergency situations
• 19.3 days/30.9 days: the average length of shelter stay for a dog and cat, respectively
• 9.6 million viewers of WARL’s Live Kitten and Puppy Cams
• 1,759 spay/neuter surgeries performed, which help address animal overpopulation in our community
• Clinic saw 1,156 income-qualified clients and 405 full-paying clients
• 465 behavior & training hotline calls to help answer pet care and training questions
• 358 behavior & training class clients
• In September, WARL began a unique Prison Dog Training Program in partnership with the Patuxent Institution in Jessup, MD. The program gives carefully selected inmates the opportunity to provide foster care and basic obedience training to homeless dogs in order to enhance the inmate's social and vocational skills and prepare dogs for adoption. The first program session had two graduating dogs and four participating inmates
• Approximately 800 youth benefited from WARL’s Humane Education programs through special learning events at schools and visits to the shelter each year
• WARL’s Caring Kids summer camps drew a record 60 campers.


What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Our Shelter and Dog and Cat Adoptions

In 2010, we placed 1,285 animals. These adoptees comprised 678 dogs and 607 cats. The fundamental Meet Your Match program, which pairs animals and people according to personality and lifestyle, remains a hallmark of the League's rehoming efforts. 


 Shelter Animal Relief Effort (ShARE) program. The League receives adoptable animals who would otherwise be euthanized from overflowing, under-resourced shelters throughout the eastern and southern United States. In 2010, the League received 619 dogs and 221 cats from shelter partners. For the second year, it participated in PetSmart Charities’ Rescue Waggin’ Program, which uses specially equipped trucks to transport animals from shelters as far as 10 hours away or more from Washington to the shelter.  


Major rescues for the League in 2010 included 70 severely neglected dogs from a hoarding situation in Mississippi, 30 dogs from Kuwait when the only animal shelter in the country burned down, 30 animals from a North Carolina medical research laboratory under investigation for abuse, and 10 pit bulls from a suspected dog fighting ring in Ohio.





Population Served


Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Other Named Groups

Program 2

Medical Center

Re-designed and expanded in 2006, the Medical Center programs include: 

Care for Pets of Low-Income Residents: In 1996, the League extended its scope of services to include low-cost veterinary care by opening its Medical Center to exclusively serve the pets of low-income guardians of the District. The Medical Center provides a full range of services discounted as much as 85%, ranging from physical exams, laboratory tests, radiology, vaccinations, treatment of medical problems, dental disease, and conditions requiring surgery. In 2010, the Medical Center provided care to 6,912 pets of 3,058 guardians. The Medical Center holds weekly clinics at which pets from any local jurisdiction can receive low cost vaccinations and micro-chips. In 2010, these vaccination clinics provided care to 2,210 animals. 
Combating Pet Overpopulation: To combat the animal overpopulation crisis, the League performs low-cost spay and neuter clinics for dogs and cats of residents living in the metropolitan area. In 2010, the Medical Center performed over 2,755 spay/neuters.  
Care for Shelter Residents: The Medical Center also provides comprehensive veterinary care to the shelter residents, many of whom come to WARL with serious health issues resulting from life in puppy mills or the impacts of natural disasters. In 2009, the Medical Center cared for 1,254 dogs and cats in the shelter.





Population Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Program 3

Humane Education

Humane Education: The League’s Humane Education programs engage elementary and middle school children in Washington, D.C. with the organization’s work. The staff visit schools and bring groups of children to the shelter. The League also provides age appropriate books with humane themes to classrooms, school libraries and students, so that a message of compassion, responsibility and action can be obtained through literacy. The Humane Education staff and volunteers work closely with Washington, DC Animal Control officers to also teach children the importance of public health issues like spaying and neutering. In 2010, special programs included a photography workshop and summer camps that emphasized learning about animals, building compassion, and creative expression. More than 700 students participated in 2010 programming with about 300 of them coming to the shelter for a tour or service learning project.


The Washington Animal Rescue League's education program is generously supported by Friendship Hospital for Animals.





Population Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Self-reported by organization

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    WARL is devoted to its founding commitment and goal: helping animals in need and nurturing bonds between animals and people.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    WARL rescues, treats, and finds homes for dogs and cats, offers affordable veterinary care, and provides transformative humane education and behavior and training services to our community.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    WARL's facility is designed to promote physical, emotional, and social healing for dogs and cats, many of whom are recovering from past traumas. Every animal is spayed or neutered, micro-chipped, medically and behaviorally assessed, and vaccinated in WARL’s Medical Center, which remains the only shelter-based, full-service medical center in the region.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    WARL measures its progress through strategic planning, reviewing and analyzing statistics, and hearing stories from its many adopters, Medical Center families, training clients, and families whose children participate in the humane education program.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    WARL seeks to grow its current programs to expand its impact in the greater D.C. community and beyond. WARL is preparing for renovations that will as much as triple the capacity of some of its programs. It will also improve the rehabilitation experience of animals with are recovering from trauma.


The organization's Blog

Social Media





Funding Needs

The League is a privately run facility, and receives no government assistance. Funding is required for all aspects of the organization, including the shelter, hospital, humane education department, adoptions, administrative operations, free spay/neuter and vaccination clinics and the Safe Haven program for companion animals of victims of domestic violence, as part of Project Rescue. Visit us at .     The Washington Animal Rescue League invites interested people to visit our website to view the many ways in which we are achieving successful outcomes for thousands of animals and humans per year.  Please check our website at or read our annual report at"



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Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.


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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Washington Animal Rescue League



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Mr. Robert A. Ramin


Bob Ramin came to the League from the National Aquarium, where he was Executive Director of the Washington, DC venue, the nation’s first non-commercial aquarium, and Vice President of Development at the National Aquarium, Baltimore.  At the National Aquarium, he was responsible for fundraising and membership during the campaign to build and complete the $70 million Australia expansion on Pier 3, and during the current renovations. Prior to his work with the National Aquarium, Bob was Vice President of Development and Marketing at the African Wildlife Foundation, Director of Development and Marketing at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and Director of Annual Programs at the University of Maryland System. Bob is active in higher education, currently serving in leadership roles at both of his alma maters.  He is on The Cornell University Plantations Advisory Committee and is a Life Member of the University’s Council.  He is also a member of The University of Maryland, College of Education’s Campaign Cabinet.  Bob is currently a member of The Reef Environmental and Education Foundation (REEF) Board of Directors. After earning his undergraduate government and MBA degrees from Cornell University, Bob earned a master’s degree in education policy from the University of Maryland.


"The following is an excerpt from our 2012 annual report:

In 2012, the League rescued 1,972 animals, with 111 from large-scale emergencies.

The Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) opened the first animal shelter in the nation’s capital in 1914 for stray and abused dogs, cats, and horses. For almost a century, the League has been caring for abused, neglected, and abandoned animals in Washington, D.C., across the nation and, when resources allow, in other countries. Thirty-eight percent of our animals come from
local shelters that are unable to care for them. Approximately six percent come from situations that involve large-scale cruelty
and natural disasters. The remaining rescues are animals that have been abandoned, or are sick or injured with no one else
to care for them. The Washington Animal Rescue League is sometimes the only place an animal will have one more chance
to live the kind of life all animals should have."



Mr. Roger Marmet


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Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?