Animal Shelter - Adopt


Considering adding a new pet to your family? Come visit the Fairfax County Animal Shelter and meet adoptable dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, bunnies, guinea pigs, ferrets, gerbils, birds, snakes, and more! Take a tour of the shelter, talk with staff and volunteers about shelter programs and adoptable pets, and enjoy interacting with animals that are waiting for homes. 

Steps to Adopting an Animal

  1. Look at adoptable animals online, and when you see one you want to meet and possibly adopt, come on in to the shelter to visit with your prospective pet.
  2. Once at the shelter, walk through to see available pets and then visit with the ones you are considering adopting. A volunteer or staff member will facilitate the visit and tell you more about the pet you’re visiting.
  3. Once you decide that you would like to adopt, head to the main lobby to complete an adoption questionnaire.
  4. Then, speak with one of our adoption counselors to ask any questions you might have, and hear/read all of the available behavioral and medical history of the pet you want to adopt.
  5. Complete your adoption! Most pets can go home the day they are adopted, but some must be picked up one or two days later after their spay/neuter appointment. 

Adoption Requirements

1. Must be at least 18 with a current photo ID

2. Have current rabies vaccines for currently-owned cats and dogs

3. Have proof of license for currently-owned dogs

4. Show proof of home ownership OR lease OR pet addendum OR notorized letter from landlord/home owner

Adoption fees

  • Dogs:
    • Through six months: $175
    • Seven months through five years: $125
    • Six years and older: $100
  • Cats:
    • Through six months: $125
    • Seven months through five years: $75
    • Six years and older: $50
  • Rabbits: $15
  • Ferrets: $15
  • Reptiles: $10
  • Small Birds: $10
  • Medium Birds: $50
  • Large Birds: $100
  • Equine and Bovine: $200
  • Other Small Animals: $5
  • Other Livestock: $20

FAQs

What is included in the adoption fee?

Dogs/Puppies:

  • Spay/Neuter
  • Rabies (if old enough), distemper, and bordatella vaccinations
  • Microchip
  • Heartworm test
  • A certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian. (Fees for other services performed will be paid by the adopter to the veterinary hospital.)
  • An information packet including medical documents and other useful resources
  • A collar and personalized tag, courtesy of the Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter
  • A follow-up phone call or email to check in!

 Cats/Kittens:

  • Spay/Neuter
  • Rabies (if old enough), and distemper vaccinations
  • Microchip
  • Combo test (for FIV and FeLV)
  • A certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian. (Fees for other services performed will be paid by the adopter to the veterinary hospital.)
  • An information packet including medical documents and other useful resources
  • A collar and personalized tag, courtesy of the Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter
  • A follow-up phone call or email to check in!

Rabbits:

  • Spay/Neuter
  • A certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian. (Fees for other services performed will be paid by the adopter to the veterinary hospital.)
  • An information packet including medical documents and other useful resources.

 

Other FAQs:

1. Is the spay/neuter surgery included in the adoption fees?

    Yes! All animals are spayed or neutered prior to adoption.

2. How old do I need to be to adopt a pet? 

    Adopters must be 18 years of age.

3. Is there anything extra that might have a fee?

    People who live in Fairfax County who adopt a dog will need to purchase a county dog license for $10. Residents of other counties who adopt will need to check with their jurisdiction on the license laws there.

4. Can I adopt from you if I live outside of Fairfax County?

    Yes, absolutely!

5. Does the shelter put holds on animals for interested adopters?

    In fairness to everyone and in the best interest of animals waiting to find a home, we do not hold pets for adopters who are not prepared to complete an adoption at the time of the visit. However, a manager may place a hold on a pet when a visitor has an adoption in progress at the end of a business day that staff cannot complete before closing. If you have met with the animal you wish to adopt, have completed the adoption questionnaire, and are simply waiting for an adoption counselor to process the adoption, and it is too close to the end of our open hours for that to be completed, the shelter may place an "administrative hold" on that animal until the next day. If you find yourself in this situation towards closing time, please ask about an "administrative hold."

6. What if I have questions or problems after I adopt an animal from the Shelter?

    One to two weeks after you adopt a pet from the Fairfax County Animal Shelter, you will be contacted via phone or email by one of our staff members. If you have questions about behavior or veterinary care, or you have a concern or problem, please contact us at animalshelter@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-830-1100.  We will respond to your call or email as soon as possible. 

 

 

Check Out Our Adoptable Animals!  

(To search and view details on all adoptable animals.)


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