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A pet care business that brings grooming, dog walking, pet sitting and other services directly to owners has expanded into McLean.

Launched earlier this month, Woofie’s of McLean introduced itself to the community on Saturday (Sept. 17) at the kick-off for Shipgarten’s seven-week Oktoberfest celebration in Tysons. The “Dogtoberfest” event on Oct. 22 will serve as a grand opening.

Dogtoberfest festivities will include baths, nail trims and a raffle for a free grooming. Woofie’s will also offer a $5 discount on a first walk or 10% off a first grooming appointment, the company said.

Franchise owner and operator Ana Hul, a McLean resident, credits her 10-year-old Yorkie with inspiring her to become an owner after patronizing Woofie’s for years.

“I have been personally impacted by the way Woofie’s has taken care of my dog Pepper, and I wanted to provide that same level of care to pets in my own city of McLean,” Hul said in a press release.

Based initially out of Hul’s home, Woofie’s offers home visits for dog walking and pet-sitting services, including overnight care, as well as pet spas out of a mobile van that can stop at customers’ houses and community events.

The franchise’s service area includes McLean, most of Tysons east of Route 7, and northern Arlington. Its operating hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Founded in Ashburn in 2004, Woofie’s began franchising in 2018 and now has five locations, all in Northern Virginia. A Reston-Herndon franchise launched in April 2019.

The company was acquired by the franchisor Authority Brands in January.

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Staff at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter are hoping that their space will be cleared up — mostly of adoptable animals — with the help of a special event this Saturday (Aug. 27). 

In a partnership with NBC4, the shelter is hosting a “Clear the Shelters” adoption event on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the adoption center (4500 West Ox Road).

The shelter has nearly 300 pets that need homes. All fees that are typically required for adoptions will be waived. 

We are way over capacity and need the public to come out this Saturday and adopt one of these wonderful animals,” Reasa Currier, director of the animal shelter, said.

Among the available animals are over 80 cats that came from an owner that was simply overwhelmed with the pets. Animal Protection Police was called to remove the cats from the home, Currier said. 

They are beautiful, healthy cats who are thrilled to finally have a space of their own with a litter box, food, and a soft blanket. They’re shy and hesitant of new people, but with a little patience they’ll come around and make great pets,” she said. 

The shelter was also recently approached by resident who is seeking to give away 30 rabbits in phases.

Staff and volunteers have been caring for the rabbits who have arrived at the shelter, seeing to their daily needs, and introducing them to potential adopters. Some of the rabbits are lionheads, some have shorter fur, variety of fur colors and mostly rich soft browns,” Currier said.

Clear the Shelters is an annual pet adoption and donation campaign that was launched by NBCUniversal Local eight years ago. This year’s half-hour special features feel-good stories of animal rescues and adoptions. It’s hosted by “The Blacklist” actor Amir Arison.

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A lost community pig was returned to its owner (via Nalls Produce/Facebook)

A pig that found its way to a local business that happen to be trained in proper swine handling has been returned to his owner.

The pig was caught by staff at Nalls Produce, a garden center located in the Kingstowne area, which turned the loose community pig to the county’s animal control division. 

“How serendipitous that a loose pig wandered one of the only places in the area that has staff trained in proper swine handling with pig feed in stock,” Nalls Produce wrote in a statement on social media.

The pig was returned to the owner after a community search, according to second Lt. Kathleen Prucnal of the county’s animal protection police.

Our officers occasionally encounter pigs in Fairfax County and they prioritize public safety and animal welfare when doing so.  There were several calls received by dispatch over the course of a few days and we attempted to locate and confine the animal each time it was reported,” Prucnal wrote in a statement.

The Fairfax County Police Department advises anyone who comes across a loose pig to contact their non-emergency dispatch number 703-691-2131, though 911 should be used if it’s an emergency situation.

Nalls Produce described the pig as a “young full size piggie” and not a “mini” like Penny, the pig owned by the business.

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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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Morning Notes

A flock of birds flies over Route 123 in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Real Estate Taxes Due Today — For Fairfax County property owners, it’s the final day to send in the first installment of your annual real estate taxes, which saw significant increases this year even with a 3-cent reduction in the county’s rate. Payments can be made to the Department of Tax Administration by phone, mail, drop box, mobile app and online. [DTA]

Springfield Man Convicted in 2020 Murder — A jury convicted Carlington Fitz Auther Campbell yesterday (Wednesday) for shooting and killing Anthony Sullivan outside a West Springfield apartment in November 2020, Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced. Campbell was found guilty of second-degree murder and a weapons charge, which carry possible prison sentences of five to 40 years and three years, respectively. [WUSA9]

Decision on Mosaic District Skating Rink Postponed — “Because of some public pushback, unresolved questions and a legal-advertising snafu, the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) on July 13 deferred until September its decision on whether to allow temporary ice- and roller-skating rinks in Merrifield’s Mosaic District.” [Sun Gazette]

Fairfax City Veterinarian Helps Ukraine Animal Shelters — “Dr. Courtney Katsur chokes up when she describes what she saw while volunteering for two weeks in Ukraine. The veterinarian with Town & Country Animal Hospital in Fairfax tried for months to find a way to get to the war zone to help animals she was seeing in the news.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Clinics Available for Required Student Vaccinations — “Before students return to school in late August, families can check to ensure their students are up to date on immunizations required at Fairfax County Public Schools. The Fairfax County Health Department is offering appointments at upcoming immunization clinics.” [Patch]

Inova to Rebrand Urgent Care Centers With Partnership — Inova Health System will soon let patients make appointments, check wait times and more through the on-demand health care platform GoHealth Urgent Care. Announced yesterday (Wednesday), the joint venture will convert seven existing Inova Urgent Care locations in Northern Virginia into Inova-GoHealth Urgent Care centers later this year, with additional locations planned. [Inova]

Penn Daw Firefighters Help Mow Lawn — “Recently, Station 11, Penn Daw, B-Shift responded to a routine EMS incident for an elderly gentleman experiencing distress while mowing his lawn on one of the hottest days of the year. The #FCFRD crew assisted the gentlemen, and then completed mowing his lawn prior to leaving.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Park Authority Fall Registration Begins Next Week — “Fairfax County Park Authority registration for fall classes and programs opens Aug. 2, 2022. Fall classes will be in full swing with programs at Rec Centers, nature centers, historic sites, lakefront parks, golf courses and schools. Virtual classes are available for those who prefer or cannot attend in person.” [FCPA]

McLean Lidl Hosts Kids’ Drawing Contest — “Lidl is holding a drawing competition for children at its new McLean store as part of a benefit for the SHARE of McLean food bank. Starting Wednesday, children can participate in the drawing competition, with a chance to win a $100 Lidl gift card…Once the competition closes on Wednesday, Aug. 3, Lidl will narrow down the entries and ask McLean community members to vote for their favorite piece of art.” [Patch]

It’s Thursday — Humid and mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 86 and low of 75. Sunrise at 6:08 am and sunset at 8:25 pm. [Weather.gov]

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A chicken on the move (via James Wainscoat/Unsplash)

Between the COVID-19 pandemic and growing concerns about monkeypox, a recent, national surge in salmonella cases linked to live poultry has flown relatively under the radar.

However, the bacteria has spread to 48 states since early February, infecting 572 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Northern Virginia hasn’t been immune.

As of last Tuesday (July 19), there have been 11 cases reported in Virginia, including two in the state’s northern region, the Virginia Department of Health said. Eight of the cases have been tied to exposure to live poultry, and one resulted in a hospitalization.

It’s unclear whether either of the Northern Virginia cases occurred in Fairfax County, since the data typically isn’t released on a local or county level, according to the Fairfax County Health Department.

For the three cases not linked to poultry exposure, VDH says it’s unsure how the illness was contracted.

“Those cases could be either lost to follow-up (unable to contact them for interview/investigation) or we have not received their exposure information from the local health district that conducted the investigation for that case,” wrote Kelsey Holloman, who manages VDH’s Foodborne Disease Epidemiology program.

Overall, the U.S. poultry salmonella outbreak has led to 92 hospitalizations and two deaths. It has been more than a month since the last recorded case on June 22, though the CDC says the actual case numbers are likely higher since many people recover without medical care and don’t get tested.

Caused by a bacteria that lives in the intestines of people and animals, salmonella can be spread through contact with contaminated food or drink as well as infected animals and their environment. The most common symptoms are diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.

While most people recover without treatment in four to seven days, the illness can be more severe for young children, adults over 65, and immunocompromised individuals, according to the CDC.

Per VDH, tips for avoiding infection include:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching live poultry/backyard flocks, their eggs, or anything in the area where they live and roam.
  • Keep backyard flocks and flock supplies outside.
  • Do not let young children (under 5) handle backyard flocks, including chicks and ducklings

Earlier this year, salmonella outbreak tied to Jif peanut butter led to 21 total cases in 17 states, including four hospitalizations, VDH says. The CDC closed its investigation into that outbreak earlier in July.

The CDC estimates salmonella cause about 1.35 million illnesses, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths in the U.S. annually.

Photo via James Wainscoat/Unsplash

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The Fairfax County Animal Shelter will receive the beagles soon (via Fairfax County Animal Shelter)

For the first time, animals from a research facility will be up for adoption at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter.

Roughly 4,000 beagles from a research facility will be transferred to the shelter. A spokesperson for the animal shelter says staff and volunteers are excited to welcome the animals to start the “next chapter of their lives.”

“Once we know them, we’ll be able to help match them with awesome new families who can show them what it means to be a loved pet in a real home,” the spokesperson told FFXnow in a statement.

The beagles were rescued from inhumane conditions inside a research and breeding facility in Cumberland earlier this month. Homeward Trails, a shelter based in Fairfax Station, is helping the Humane Society of the U.S. find permanent homes for them.

In May, federal officials seized 145 dogs and puppies that law enforcement officials said were in acute distress. The rescue comes after federal inspectors found dozens of violations of federal regulations at the facility over two years.

For example, a female beagle’s paw was trapped in shoddy flooring for so long that she became dehydrated, according to a report from the New York Times.

Even though the beagles are from a breeding and research facility, no special protocol will be followed. The Fairfax County shelter plans to follow its standard adoption protocol.

Organizers are encouraging residents to consider adoption and support the shelter by volunteering. A wishlist for foster homes and the shelter is also available online.

The shelter doesn’t have a firm timeline yet on what the beagles will arrive or how many, according to a shelter spokesperson.

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Morning Notes

People watch fireworks at Vienna’s 2022 Fourth of July celebration (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Springfield Motorcyclist Dies After Burke Crash — Becoming the sixth non-pedestrian killed in a vehicle crash this year, Nema Mirsaeedi, 31, of Springfield died yesterday after being thrown from his motorcycle in a crash with a car attempting to turn into a shopping center on Burke Center Parkway. The crash occurred at 6:39 p.m. on Sunday (July 3) and remains under investigation. [FCPD]

County Responds to Supreme Court Security Request — “Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley originally penned the letter, asking that state and local law enforce their respective picketing laws near the homes of Supreme Court justices…Fairfax County officials say they already received the letter and that their stance remained unchanged.” [WTOP]

FCPS Officially Has New Superintendent — “Michelle Reid, Ed.D. was sworn in as the superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools on Thursday, June 30, at Luther Jackson Middle School. Her term begins Friday, July 1. ‘It’s important for me to remember that learning happens best in community, and this is an amazing community,’ said Dr. Reid.” [FCPS]

Hiker Injured Falling Off Great Falls Ledge — “On Saturday, at 2:31 p.m., units were dispatched to 9200 Old Dominion Drive for an injured hiker. Hiker fell 40 feet down a steep rocky ledge. Crews fully immobilized and carried person out via stokes basket to Fairfax County Police Department helicopter. Transported with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.” [FCFRD/Facebook]

Fairfax History Commission Seeks More Resources — “Commission Chairman Cheryl Repetti, who delivered the group’s annual report to the Board of Supervisors June 28, asked supervisors to finance a full-time staff member and allot extra county staff hours to help fulfill the board’s requests of the commission.” [Sun Gazette]

South Lakes HS Stadium Closed — “Hey Seahawks…Our stadium is CLOSED while we make some improvements to it. The turf is being replaced & the bleachers are getting a minor upgrade. Should take a month. Thanks for your patience.” [South Lakes Athletics & Activities/Twitter]

Longtime McLean Postal Workers Retire — “[Scott] Arnold and his best friend in the Postal Service, Rob Receveur, both had served McLean for years, and this past week, both were celebrated as they hung up their mailbags…It’s hard to quantify Arnold’s legacy, but you can sense his effect by how the neighborhood’s residents have shifted their lives to remain close to him.” [The Washington Post]

Firefighter Adopts Rescued Kitten — “May 28, Tower 424 and Tech Austin Adams rescued kitten out of a tree. Kitten was very young. @FairfaxCountyPD Animal Protection took him to @fairfaxanimals. Tech Adams kept in touch. Thursday, he and his wife adopted kitten — now named Ash!” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Virginia Shares Data on Firearm Injuries — “The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) launched a new data dashboard on firearm injuries in Virginia showing the number and rate of emergency department (ED) visits from 2016 to 2022. The dashboard shows firearm injury data by year, health district, age group, sex, and race/ethnicity across Virginia.” [VDH]

It’s Tuesday — Rain in the evening. High of 84 and low of 71. Sunrise at 5:51 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Boats docked at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) Kitten Rescued in Groveton — Fairfax County firefighters from the Woodlawn station were dispatched to the 7000 block of Richmond Highway on Monday (June 27) after bystanders reported a stray kitten that got stuck in the engine compartment of their coworker’s SUV. First responders were able to “extriCATe the kitten without injury or damage to vehicle,” and a coworker of the original caller agreed to adopt the kitten. [FCFRD/Facebook]

(Correction: This article initially said the kitten was adopted by a firefighter, based on the department’s tweet about the incident.)

Vienna Proposes Tighter Regulation of Massage Parlors — “Council member Ray Brill Jr. requested that Town Attorney Steven Briglia provide possible town-code amendments to address the proliferation of massage establishments in Vienna and its surroundings, as well as possible illegal activity at unlicensed businesses.” [Sun Gazette]

Hidden Oaks Nature Center Reopens — “The newly expanded and renovated Hidden Oaks Nature Center reopened to the public on June  25. The nature center, at 7701 Royce St. in Annandale, had been closed for the past two years, first because of the Covid pandemic, then due to construction.” [Annandale Today]

Two Sent to Hospital by I-495 Crash — “Monday, 11:21 AM, units responded to I495 NB after Route 7 for 3 vehicle crash impacting main & express lanes. 1 van overturned. Crews worked efficiently to treat/transport 2 patients to hospital w/minor injuries. All lanes initially shutdown but reopened w/in 20 minutes.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

McLean Bible Church Lawsuit Dismissed — “The year-long legal fight between McLean Bible Church and a faction who accused leaders including David Platt of a ‘theological takeover’ has come to an end. On Friday, a Fairfax, Virginia, court dismissed a lawsuit from a group of current and former members of the Washington DC-area megachurch, who contested a June 2021 elder election for allegedly violating church bylaws.” [Christianity Today]

Reston Elementary School Gets Funds for Garden — “Lake Anne Elementary was recently awarded a $1,200 grant from EcoRise to create a community food garden. ‘It is our goal to produce food we can share with a food bank or members from our school community,’ said Consuelo Bachelet, a second-grade teacher at the school.” [Patch]

Fairfax County Eager to Draw FBI to Springfield — “No matter where it lands, federal officials suggest the FBI headquarters could host at least 7,500 personnel — about 3,500 fewer than what was pitched the last time around. Time, though, has only strengthened Springfield’s hand, [Board Chair Jeff] McKay said.” [Washington Business Journal]

County Board Approves $1M to Create Fund for Startups — “Fairfax Founders Fund will provide early capital to startup companies in Fairfax County.   The fund will target early-stage technology companies with technical assistance grants of up to $50,000 to help them prepare for later stage investments.” [Department of Economic Initiatives]

Reston Electric Vehicle Company Announces New Investors — “Reston, Virginia-based Electrify America…counts German industrial giant Siemens AG among its big backers…Volkswagen has also increased its investment in the company. Siemens is the first outside investor. The new funding totals $450 million and values Electrify America at $2.45 billion, the company said.” [WTOP]

It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 84 and low of 66. Sunrise at 5:48 am and sunset at 8:40 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

A mural on the side of the Quality Inn on Fordson Road in Groveton (staff photo by Brandi Bottalico)

Motorcyclist Dies Falling from I-495 — “An Alexandria motorcyclist was killed Sunday afternoon (June 26) after crashing and falling nearly 30 feet off the westbound Interstate 495 overpass exit ramp for Eisenhower Avenue toward Mill Road…He was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.” [ALXnow]

System for Helicopter Noise Complaints Unveiled — D.C. area residents finally have a clear place to go to lodge complaints about helicopter-related noise. The site planenoise.com/dcmetro was unveiled yesterday (Monday) as part of a 60-day pilot program that could become permanent. Complaints can also be filed by phone at 877-209-3200 or a mobile app. [Rep. Don Beyer/ARLnow]

Fire Department Shares Fireworks Safety Tips — “The Fourth of July would not be the same without those breathtaking fireworks. However, tragedy can strike within seconds when fireworks are not properly and safely used. Thousands of people are injured each year in the United States due to fireworks. Consider the following safety tips when using permissible fireworks…” [FCFRD]

Fort Belvoir Plans Springfield Expansion — “The U.S. Army is advancing plans to build a big new distribution center at Fort Belvoir as part of a larger planned intelligence campus expansion. The 525,000-square-foot facility, which would house some 600 employees, is proposed for the western portion of the 804-acre Springfield parcel known as Fort Belvoir North.” [Washington Business Journal]

Falls Church Seeks Information About Cat — “The City of Falls Church Police are looking for the owner of a black cat that bit a person in Big Chimneys Park (210 Gibson St.) on Friday, June 24. The police want to know if the cat is vaccinated against rabies. The cat is described as black with either yellow or brown eyes.” [City of Falls Church]

Influential Local Land Use Lawyer Dies — “Martin D. ‘Art’ Walsh, who helped reshape Arlington’s skyline as co-founder of one of Northern Virginia’s most prominent land use law firms, died June 6 at a hospital in Fairfax County, Va. He was 78 and a resident of McLean, Va.” [The Washington Post]

County Highlights Need for HIV Testing — June 27 was National HIV Testing Day, so the Fairfax County Health Department released a video highlighting an HIV-positive advocate’s journey and the importance of getting tested. While no cure has been found for AIDS, the disease sometimes caused by the virus, which attacks the immune system, prevention and treatment services are available. [FCHD]

Ribbon Cut on Wakefield Pickleball Courts — “This weekend we cut the ribbon on two new pickleball courts at Wakefield Park! Expanding access to this growing sport is a priority in Fairfax County.” [Supervisor James Walkinshaw/Twitter]

Vienna to Laud Local Pets — “The Town is launching the Mayor’s Pet of the Week! Nominate your pet by emailing Mayor@viennava.gov with your pet’s name, the kind of animal it is, and what makes it special. The first honorary award goes to Mayor Colbert’s cat, Ginny!” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

It’s Tuesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 78 and low of 60. Sunrise at 5:47 am and sunset at 8:40 pm. [Weather.gov]

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