Car Stuff

(all of the above plus this)

  Jumper Cables

Get some heavy-duty jumper cables (4 or 6-guage).  Someday, you’re going to need them -- to get your car started or to be a good samaritan.   

  Tire Air Compressor

You’re going to need this on a regular basis.  I have this one and it has been reliable for years.        

  Tire Gauge

Do not rely on the one on the compressor - those are not precise.  This one works for me.

  Leather Gloves

Some work gloves.


Preferably both, and lots of batteries.

  Rescue Tool


  Duct Tape

  Safety Flares/Triangles


For cutting seatbelts (your’s or someone else’s) and busting car windows for egress and ingress (if you’re helping some other driver).

At least have screwdrivers (Phillips and slot), pliers and a knife.  I keep this Leatherman Wave in the car.

Repair a cracked hose, seal a broken window, blah, blah.  And throw in some lawn bags to help make a temporary window.

Flares, strobes -- consider more than one method of warning approaching cars that your car is broken down.

Cash is king.  In case you lose your wallet, or credit cards don’t work or a power outage prevents stores from taking plastic.  Put some cash in a zip-lock freezer bag and duct-tape it under a seat or stash it in a side compartment or other hidden place.  $40 or so, at least.  Prudent to have enough cash for a tank of gas and a meal.


At the least:  toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, brush, lotion. 


At the least:  umbrella, hat, waterproof jacket or poncho.  


Microfiber towels are extremely compact.

  Water + cup

More in the summer and appropriate to how many peops/pups travel with you.  For me and Gidget, I have at least one gallon of water in the summer and 64 ounces in the winter (in Nalgene bottles).  Also a bowl or cup (I have a stainless steel cup in the car).

  First Aid

Know what’s in it before you need it and periodically check for expiration dates and replenish and augment as needed.  Check out Adventure Medical Kits for pre-fabs and also look at their content lists for each kit for ideas if you want to make your own or customize an existing.


At least a light-weight fleece.  During winter, I keep a 20-degree sleeping bag in my SUV.  I also have down booties and extra fleece (neck gaiter, hat, mittens) and long underwear, Smartwool socks and hiking boots.  Also chemical hand-warmers (Costco sells them by the box) good for eight hours.   If the engine stops running and you’re without a heater on a cold day, it could get very uncomfortable very quickly.

  1. 1Call local veterinary offices/emergency clinics, and visit the office if they have an animal that sounds even remotely like your pet. 

  2. 2Register your lost pet with Pets911: or 1-888-PETS911 

  3. 3Register your lost pet with Petfinder: 

  4. 4Check the “Lost and Found” section on Craig’s List: The League posts all of our stray animals here during their stray period.  

  5. 5Run a “lost pet” ad in the newspaper and community publications. Search the “found” section of these publications as well. 


Come to the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter and bring the following items: 

  1. 1Proof of ownership. The law requires that shelters verify ownership before releasing a pet. Acceptable items include: 

  2. 2Vet records in your name with your pet’s description 

  3. 3Photos of your pet over time 

  4. 4Microchip or tattoo records

  5. 5Bill of sale or adoption contract with your pet’s description. 

  6. 6Collar and leash for dogs and collar and carrier for cats and other animals. We will not release any animal that is not properly restrained. These items can be purchased for a modest fee at the shelter. 

  7. 7ID tag. You can purchase this at the shelter or at pet supply stores. 

  8. 8Cash or credit card to pay redemption fees. 

  9. 9A boarding fee of $17/night is charged for each night the animal stays at the shelter. 

  10. 10If animal control picked up your pet, there is a $10 impound fee for the first time your pet has been picked up. This fine increases with subsequent impounds.

  11. 11An additional fee of $50 is charged for the vaccinations and care given to each animal upon their arrival at the shelter.  

  12. 12City dog/cat license. If you live in the City, and your pet does not have a current cat or dog license, you will be asked to purchase that license. If your pet has a current rabies vaccination, you will purchase the license that day. Otherwise, you must go get the vaccine and return within a week to purchase the license. 

  13. 13Vet bill, if applicable. If your pet required veterinary attention while in our care, we ask that you reimburse the League for these charges. 

This effort to help dogs and their families is dedicated to Kaiya and Sesi.  They were two beautiful  and beloved Samoyeds -- mother and daughter -- whose plight inspired this page and whose spirit mobilized a community.     

This effort to help dogs and their families is dedicated to Kaiya and Sesi.  They were two beautiful  and beloved Samoyeds -- mother and daughter -- whose plight inspired this page and whose spirit mobilized a community.     

Go to this site.  Has some more info on searching for lost pet you might want to add.  I didn't know about filing lost pet report with PetHarbor and I had forgotten that VDOT picks up dead animals on highways  They keep the collars and tags.  Not a good outcome but at least you can assure yourself that the dog is not dead by a highway.

Add at the top of VA shelter info:  

  1. Virginia law requires municipal shelters to hold animals for five days if found without a collar; 10 days if found with a collar. Do not depend on a shelter to hold your lost pet indefinitely. (Most shelters charge a daily impoundment fee, so it is in your best interest to learn whether your pet is in the shelter sooner rather than later.)

Vienna, VA

Animal Control:  215 Center St. South, Vienna, VA 703-255-6377

Vienna uses the Fairfax County Animal Shelter