The Mission

FOHA strives to:

Bring an end to the unnecessary killing of companion animals

Provide a safe haven for abused and abandoned animals

Provide food, shelter, medical care, rehabilitation, and compassion to homeless animals

Find permanent, loving homes for the animals in our care

And most importantly, bring about a time when there will be no more homeless pets and every dog and cat can be guaranteed a loving home

Who We Are

Located in Northern Virginia, Friends of Homeless Animals has been serving the Washington metropolitan area since 1973. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) no-kill shelter dedicated to saving abandoned and abused dogs and cats. We provide rescue, medical care, rehabilitation, and adoption services in the Northern Virginia and Washington, DC metropolitan areas.

The animals in our care come to us through no fault of their own. Some have been pulled from “death row” at other shelters, some have been rescued from abusive situations, others come to us after they have lost their way home or their owners are unable to care for them. Our dedicated volunteers provide the love, care, and attention they deserve until a new caring home can be found.

Our shelter typically houses more than 100 dogs of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Many are mixed breeds—charming “mutts” who make wonderful companions (and often lead healthier lives than their purebred cousins). We also provide shelter for up to 60 cats and kittens in our catteries plus many others in foster homes. FOHA is the only no-kill shelter of its size in the area, where visitors can meet many animals until they find the perfect pet for them. Our animals are all spayed or neutered, up to date on shots, and tested (and if necessary treated) for heartworm and other medical conditions.

FOHA works to find qualified adoptive homes for all the animals in our care, while keeping the commitment to providing a safe and healthy haven for as long as may be necessary. Approximately 500 dogs and cats per year have found permanent, loving homes. Thank you for viewing our site. Our goal is to update this site on a daily basis.



The FOHA Board of Directors

Stacey Gimbert, Acting President,   
Jake Mages, Treasurer,
Gloria Fyfe, Assistant Treasurer, 
Michelle Wright  , Secretary,   
John Borgersen, Executive Director,
Ruth Duska, Director,
Kyle Elliot, Director,
Rob Mock, Director,
Jessica Fowler, Director,


From Past to Present: Anne Lewis' Legacy

Judge Anne Lewis became involved in animal rescue in the late 1960’s after another organization trapped a feral mother dog and pups on the family property.  After struggling to save them, all were ultimately euthanized by the shelter.  Anne, who had been only vaguely aware of the plight of homeless animals prior to this tragedy, joined a series of animal rescue organizations believing she could prevent this from happening to other innocent animals.  Failing to find an organization that adhered to a strict no-kill policy, she founded her own organization, Friends of Homeless Animals, in 1973.  She devoted the remaining thirty-two years of her life to the rescue and care of homeless animals. 

FOHA continues to be unique among the local animal rescue groups in its strict no-kill policies, the quality and extent of veterinary care it provides (we treat our animals regardless of the cost), its careful adoption policies with interviews and home visits for all animals adopted, its lifetime return policy for all animals adopted, and the size and quality of our kennel facilities and an excellent staff on site.  None of our animals, dog or cat, is housed in a cage.  We have 110 dogs at the shelter and 30 others who require special care in foster homes.  All our regular kennels are both heated and air-conditioned and have indoor areas with comfortable bedding and fenced outdoor areas where the dogs can play.  Every Saturday and Sunday, dedicated volunteers come to the kennel to walk, play with and love each dog individually.  We have an exercise area, pools for the dogs in summer, and forty acres of wooded trails where the volunteers walk them.  In addition to our kennels, a number of elderly and long-term-resident dogs live in the Fred Sanders Memorial Village in individual houses each of which is furnished, heated and air-conditioned and has its own private run with artificial turf. 

In addition to the 140 dogs in Friends’ care, we have unique facilities for healthy, feral, and FIV+ catteries (the only one in Virginia) and they too are showered with attention by their own special volunteers on the weekends.  At present, approximately 60 cats live in the communal catteries, 25+ in foster homes, and 18 others in Friends’ feral colony. 

Over the last four decades, Friends of Homeless Animals has saved and placed in forever homes tens of thousands of dogs and cats who would otherwise have been abandoned or killed.  This is the legacy of Anne Lewis. 

For more information on Friends of Homeless Animals, email or call 703-385-0224.