FAIRFAX STATION, VA — Since Sue Bell founded Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in 2002, it has grown to become the largest private shelter in Northern Virginia. Last year, it took in 3,116 animals, making it 11th among the more than 400 shelters and rescues in Virginia.
“Our mission mostly is just to provide temporary and permanent homes for homeless dogs and cats in the D.C. region,” she said. “However, in the last five or six years we have also expanded our mission to do work and advocacy and legislation to promote more humane animal welfare policies and laws locally and throughout the state of Virginia.”
Unlike publicly run shelters in places like Fairfax County and Arlington, HTAR is completely financed by private funding. About half of its revenue comes from its adoptions, with the remaining support coming from donations by individuals, corporations and events.
“The public shelters usually have a