Although the organization itself is fairly new, the individuals who make up the group have been watching over the animals in the county for many years. In the last eleven years over 13,500 dogs/puppies, cats/ kittens have been saved from the shelter; received from owners in the community wishing to relinquish animals; and saved as strays from the roads, dumpsters, and woods of Washington County.

The euthanasia rate for dogs at the local shelter has dropped from 85% to 15% and for cats 97% to 65% because of the rescue work being done by Happy Tails members. This rescue effort entails many hours of hard work including extensive time at the shelter and working with community owners who wish to relinquish their animals, foster care which involves daily care, sick care, vet care; hundreds of miles of weekly transport of animals to outreach rescue groups and hours on the phone talking with individuals wanting assistance with their animals in some way. As volunteers our time and effort is given free. The rest of what we do requires funds.

Happy Tails rescues animals from individuals in the community who wish to relinquish as well as from the local animal shelter that practices euthanasia. These animals are either immediately transported to the safety of outlying no-kill rescue organizations or fostered locally for future adoption or rescue. During the foster period, Happy Tails provides general care for the animals and age-appropriate veterinary care including deworm, deflea, vaccinations, and spay/neuter as well as treatment of any illness/disease/trauma/chronic or congenital conditions. Happy Tails provides weekly transports to no-kill rescue organizations in areas with greater demand for pets and also offers local adoptions.

Mission Statement:

Happy Tails Animal Rescue of Washington County, VA is a 501(c)(3) not- for- profit organization incorporated in June 2010 dedicated to the rescue of animals from the harm of abuse, neglect, abandonment, and unnecessary euthanasia and to the placement of animals with rescue organizations or adopters. We support and promote spaying and neutering of all cats and dogs to help control the pet overpopulation and promote education of the public about responsible pet ownership.

Happy Tails is Dedicated to:

  • Preventing the abuse, neglect, cruelty and unnecessary euthanasia of animals
  • Promoting and Supporting the spay/neuter of all pets
  • Educating the public to responsible pet ownership

Programs to Support Our Mission:

  • RESCUE of animals from the shelter and from the community to the safety of other no-kill rescues, foster care and re-homing
  • DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION offering resources for low-cost spay/neuter FOSTER CARE of animals from the shelter and the community as space allows
  • EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC to responsible pet ownership in formal and informal settings
  • FUNDRAISING necessary to maintain the work of the organization – volunteers welcome!

Board Members

  • Loni Willey, President
  • Tracy Garcia, Treasurer
  • Amanda Carrico, Secretary
  • Nancy Wood, Board Member

  • Kay Stewart, Founder