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A dog believed to be a Staffordshire terrier was found chained up and shot in Mount Vernon (via FCPD)

A dog was chained up and shot this morning in the residential neighborhood behind the Woodlawn Shopping Center in Mount Vernon, police say.

Officers responded to the area of Bedford Terrace and Beekman Place at 3:35 a.m. after getting a call that there was a dog chained to a fence, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. Upon arriving, they discovered the animal had a gunshot wound.

“The chain was immediately removed, and the dog was taken to a nearby veterinarian’s office. The dog remains with the veterinarian receiving further care,” the FCPD said in a news release published this afternoon.

Police later determined that a community member had called earlier in the evening “after hearing a dog barking and a single gunshot,” the department said, adding that officers had searched the area but “did not find anything suspicious.”

The FCPD is now on the lookout for the owner of the dog, which is believed to be an adult, male Staffordshire terrier.

Police are asking residents in the neighborhood to review any surveillance footage they might have from last night. The department’s Animal Protection Police can be contacted at fcpdanimalprotection@fairfaxcounty.gov.

The FCPD also accepts anonymous tips through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.

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Canines at Dogtopia (courtesy image)

Dog daycare, boarding and spa chain Dogtopia announced yesterday that it plans to open a new location at 11039 Lee Highway in Fairfax early next month.

Dogtopia offers areas for playtime and exercise with live camera feeds so pet parents can watch their pets while they’re away. The daycare will also have contact-free curbside drop-off and pick-up service.

Dogtopia’s Fairfax location is scheduled to open in early February. The location will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

According to the release:

Dogtopia’s environment allows dogs to feel comfortable, enjoy plenty of playtime and exercise, and the playrooms offer fun for dogs of similar size and temperament. Each playroom has compressed rubber flooring to ease joints, prevent slipping and promote safer play while trained Canine Coaches promot physical and mental activities throughout the day. Dogtopia maintains live camera feeds from inside their award-winning app allowing pet parents to watch and enjoy their dog’s playday at any time. The app is also how pet parents may reserve their play dates, overnight boarding visits, manage their account, and communicate with the daycare.

The company also has Fairfax County franchises in Falls Church, Tysons, Herndon, and Springfield.

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Fairfax County police cruiser with lights on (via FCPD/Facebook)

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) A dog was shot and killed by Fairfax County police during a search of a house in Herndon this morning.

Officers with the Fairfax County Police Department’s SWAT team were serving a search warrant in the 1500 block of Powells Place Tavern, a neighborhood of single-family homes near Dranesville Elementary School, according to the department.

The team was looking to recover police equipment that had been stolen “from another jurisdiction,” the FCPD said at 7 a.m.

“During the service, at least one officer discharged their firearm striking a dog,” police said. “No other injuries reported.”

The department tweeted at 7:35 a.m. that the dog had died.

In an update this afternoon, police said the search warrant was executed in connection to a larceny of an unmarked Prince William County police vehicle reported in the 13900 block of Mansarde Avenue in the Dulles area on July 28.

“The unmarked police vehicle was assigned to a civilian investigator from the Prince William County Police Department,” the FCPD said. “A ballistic vest, a gas mask and a set of keys were stolen from inside the vehicle.”

The department say it obtained the search warrant after its Gang Intelligence Unit detectives learned that an 18-year-old Herndon area resident had the stolen items. The teen was arrested today, and the stolen property was recovered, along with an “AK47-style rifle,” police said.

Per the FCPD, the teen has been charged with possession of stolen property and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is being held in custody with no bond.

“The circumstances leading up to the discharge of the firearm and the death of the domestic animal are being investigated by our Internal Affairs Bureau,” the FCPD said. “We will provide additional information when it becomes available.”

Photo via FCPD/Facebook

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The Boro in Tysons will kick off its winter holiday festivities this Saturday (courtesy The Boro)

Updated at 5:45 p.m.With rain in the forecast for this Saturday, “Rudolph’s Rockin’ Reindeer Games” has been postponed to Saturday, Dec. 17, The Boro announced today.

Earlier: Officially, winter won’t come for another three weeks, but as far as the Tysons area is concerned, its spirit is already in the air.

This weekend will bring a number of festive, mostly Christmas-oriented events to usher in the colder weather and upcoming winter holidays, from a dance party at The Boro to the previously announced McLean Holiday Art and Crafts Festival.

Winter Boroland

The Boro in Tysons will kick off its festivities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 3) with Rudolph’s Rockin’ Reindeer Games, which it describes as the “ultimate holiday dance party.”

“Get your groove on with friends, families and neighbors at this holiday-themed dance party featuring a live DJ,” the development said in a press release. “Move and sing to your favorite seasonal tunes while sipping hot cocoa, doing arts and crafts and capturing memories (with Santa photo ops!) for your holiday card. Take part in a special scavenger hunt and compete in reindeer games like freeze dance, red light green light and limbo!”

Santa will be present for photos from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The festivities at Boro Park (8350 Broad Street) are free, but advance registration is encouraged.

Winter Boroland will continue on Dec. 10 with a Holiday Movie Pajama Party at ShowPlace ICON Theatre, which will screen three films that morning:

  • 9:45 a.m. — Arthur Christmas (2011)
  • 10 a.m. — The Polar Express (2004)
  • 10:15 a.m. — Elf (2003)

Tickets cost $8 but include admission, a small popcorn, an apple juice, a goodie bag with candy and a holiday craft, and a photo booth opportunity.

Reindog Parade

Over in McLean, the annual “Reindog Parade” will return to the Langley Shopping Center for a 25th year on Saturday.

Hosted by the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce, the event invites community members to dress up their pet dogs for a parade that will start at 8 a.m. outside Flowers & Plants Etc. (1378 Chain Bridge Road).

Prizes will be determined by a panel of judges, including Del. Marcus Simon (D-53). Dominion Energy spokesperson and former WUSA9 Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Peggy Fox will serve as emcee.

In addition to the parade, the 90-minute event will feature gift bags for participants, hot chocolate and donuts, music by Bristol Sounds, and an appearance by Santa, per the chamber of commerce. An antique McLean Volunteer Fire Department engine and Dominion Energy bucket truck will also be at the scene.

The fire department will have holiday ornaments for sale as a fundraiser, the chamber told FFXnow.

As in past years, the chamber is asking participants to bring two cans of dog food that will be donated to a local animal shelter as a form of “admission.”

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Shipgarten’s Thanksgiving Barks & Brews Festival is coming this Saturday (via Shipgarten/Instagram)

People will be talking about Bruno at Shipgarten in Tysons this Thanksgiving weekend.

Characters from the Disney movie “Encanto” will put on a live performance on Saturday (Nov. 26) as part of the biergarten’s Thanksgiving Barks & Brews Festival, which will run from 1 to 6 p.m. that day.

Advertised as an “annual” festival, though this will be the venue’s first Thanksgiving since opening in May, Barks & Brews will feature local wineries and breweries with over 50 drink options, live music, lawn games, giveaways, and food and activities for both humans and dogs.

There will be a playground, face painting and crafts corner to keep kids entertained, according to the event page.

  • 2 p.m. — Smallest and Biggest Dog Competition
  • 3 p.m. — Best Trick Competition
  • 3:30 p.m. — Encanto Live Character Performance
  • 4 p.m. — Hold for Treat Competition

The festival is free, but spots can be reserved in advance through Eventbrite.

Located at 7581 Colshire Drive in the Scotts Run development, Shipgarten is open seven days a week from 11-2 a.m. The pop-up rolled out this summer with restaurants and five bars — all housed in converted shipping containers — as well as a dog park, playground and music pavilion.

The restaurants include a revival of Tysons Biergarten, Waffles and Tacos, Asian fusion concept RollBär, and Salamati Grille, which serves Persian cuisine.

Since there’s no parking at the site, there is a free shuttle that transports patrons from 1700 Old Meadow Road.

While Thanksgiving is still on its way, Shipgarten is evidently preparing for Christmas too, opening a Santa’s Workshop on Tuesday (Nov. 21).

“Get your pictures taken with Santa for free Saturdays and Sundays from 1-8 p.m.,” an Instagram post announcing the opening said. “Also try writing a letter to Santa, crafts with Mrs. Clause or free face painting!”

In December, there will be a Winter Wonderland celebration split across two weeks, with a beer, wine and cider festival on Dec. 10 and a family festival on Dec. 17.

Photo via Shipgarten/Instagram

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A Fairfax County police car (file photo)

A man from Centreville is facing firearm and animal cruelty charges after allegedly shooting his neighbor’s dog multiple times, resulting in the animal’s death.

According to Fairfax County police, 33-year-old Roman Vyacheslavov Gorelov shot a 2-year-old yellow Labrador and beagle mix after an argument with the dog’s owner at the Stonegate Faircrest Condominiums Friday morning (Nov. 11):

Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau preliminarily determined Gorelov exchanged words with the owner of the Labrador mix in the breezeway of the apartments. Gorelov then displayed a firearm and shot the dog. The owner picked up the dog and ran away from the breezeway. Gorelov followed the man then shot the dog several more times.

Officers responded to the scene in the 5100 block of Brittney Elyse Circle at 9:47 a.m. and found the dog’s owner next to the animal near a playground, police said.

They were told that Gorelov “returned to his nearby apartment” after the shooting, according to police.

“Officers contacted Gorelov by phone, and he surrendered to police. The dog was taken to a nearby veterinarian hospital and pronounced deceased,” the Fairfax County Police Department said.

Gorelov has been charged with animal cruelty and reckless discharge of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school — both felonies. The Stonegate Faircrest Condos are just south of I-66 near Arrowhead Park and Colin Powell Elementary School.

Detectives located a firearm while conducting a search of Gorelov’s apartment, according to police.

Gorelov is currently in being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

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The Boro previously invited dogs to a “Yappy Hour” in June (courtesy Lancer Photography/The Boro)

(Updated at 2 p.m.) Dogs will be the ones dressing up for spooky season at The Boro this year.

The Tysons neighborhood will host a “Best in Show” dog costume contest on Saturday, Oct. 29 to celebrate Halloween.

Registration for the free event is now open and required for all participants in the dog show, which will be accompanied by a Bone Bar with pet treats. The booth previously made an appearance at the “Yappy Hour” Pride Month fundraiser in June.

Scheduled to run from 3-8:30 p.m., The Boro’s Halloween festivities will also offer trick-or-treating, an outdoor screening of the live-action “Scooby-Doo” at 6:30 p.m., and other activities for human attendees, per a media alert:

Don’t have a dog of your own? Guests are invited to watch Best in Show at The Boro and enjoy a live DJ, crafting stations, trick-or-treating, face painting and glitter tattoos. There will also be plenty of Instagrammable moments with light-up marquee letters spelling “BOO!” And once the sun goes down, everyone is invited to head to The Sandlot for Scooby-Doo (2002) under the stars.

Other happenings at The Boro this month include a free exercise boot camp this Saturday (Oct. 8), yoga on Oct. 12 and 19, Sandlot Cars and Coffee on Oct. 16, and an American Red Cross blood drive on Oct. 26.

For those more interested in retail updates at the development, Metropolitan Hospitality Group now says it’s looking to open El Bebe and Circa in November — slightly later than the previously hoped-for October time frame.

However, staff could start moving into the restaurants at the base of Boro Tower soon.

“Our team is looking forward to entering the space this month,” a spokesperson said.

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Firefighters assess the scene of a house fire in the 6900 block of Birch Street on the McLean border (via FCFRD)

(Updated at 10:10 a.m. on 9/30/2022) Four people lost their home and a pet dog early Wednesday morning (Sept. 28) after a fire at their house in McLean.

Fairfax County and Arlington firefighters were dispatched at 1:45 a.m. to the 6900 block of Birch Street, near the West Falls Church Metro station area, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department tweeted at 7:06 a.m. that day.

While responders got the fire under control within 10 minutes, the blaze caused $156,000 in property damages, according to the department. A photo shows extensive damage to what appears to be a backyard deck with patio chairs.

FCFRD investigators later determined that the fire was caused by an unattended barbecue or meat smoker, according to a Sept. 30 news release.

According to the fire department, the residents were alerted to the fire by smoke alarms and their dog’s barking.

“Upon investigation, fire was seen in the kitchen,” FCFRD said. “One occupant called 9-1-1 while another tried to rescue the dog. All occupants self-evacuated prior to fire department arrival.”

The department said four occupants of the single-family house have been displaced. No injuries to the residents or firefighters were reported.

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The festival takes place in Reston Town Square park tomorrow (courtesy Canine Companions)

A DogFest is coming to Reston Town Square Park tomorrow (Saturday).

The event, slated to take place from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. at 11900 Market Street, will benefit Canine Companions, a nonprofit organization that encourages clients and their dogs to live with greater independence. Activities include service dog demonstrations, music, games, speeches and activities for kids.

The event is free, but online registration is encouraged.

“Help us raise money to provide exceptional dogs for the over 400 people currently waiting for their new canine partners,” Canine Companions spokesperson John Bentzinger wrote in a release.

The organization was established in 1975 and is active in six regions across the country.

Dogs that take part in the event must adhere to several conditions, including being social, being up to date with vaccinations, and remaining on a leash no longer than six feet at all times.

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The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is about to become a paw-pular place for beagle devotees, with 16 pooches saved from a Virginia research facility last month set to go up for adoption later this week.

On Monday morning (Aug. 8), a number of the spirited, tail-wagging beagles made their first public appearance since arriving at their new, temporary home. Dogs with names like Rosebud, Mint, and Bergamot hopped around in the grass, gnawed on a toy, and sat in their water bowl outside of the facility.

“[They] are putting their paws on grass for the first time,” shelter director Reasa Currier said as several floppy-eared puppies pranced around her feet. “They were uncertain about the sun, uncertain about the outside. All of this is brand new.”

Last month, a judge ordered the release of thousands of beagles from an Envigo research facility in Culpepper, Virginia due to the inhumane treatment of the dogs.

In recent weeks, local shelters stepped up to help the rescue effort and find the dogs forever homes. This includes the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation in Falls Church, the Fairfax-based Homeward Trails, and the county animal shelter on West Ox Road.

The first wave of 16 dogs arrived at the shelter Thursday (Aug. 4). They ranged in age from 3 months to 6 years old. The beagles are currently receiving medical attention, tons of love, and just being allowed to adjust to life “being a dog,” Currier says.

She noted that the plan is to spade and neuter them this week, so they can be put up for adoption likely later in the week.

The phones have been “ringing off the hook” with calls from prospective puppy parents nationwide, Currier says.

The county shelter has an open adoption process, meaning people can walk in, fill out paperwork, meet with a counselor, and walk out with a new furry family member within the hour.

That process will remain the same for the beagles and will operate on a first come, first adopt basis. All the dogs are expected to be adopted very quickly, so Currier suggests monitoring the website to stay up to date on their availability.

For those that might miss out on the initial round of adoptions, more beagles are expected to arrive at the shelter in the weeks ahead. Read More

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