Animal Services Division

4500 West Ox Road
Fairfax, Va. 22030

Public Hours
Tuesday–Friday: 12pm – 7pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm

Animal Shelter Vision:

We strive toward the day when no healthy, treatable or rehabilitatable companion animal is euthanized.

Animal Protection Police Officers (APPOs) get involved in a wide array of encounters between animals and humans, whether it is a report of stray dogs, raccoons in living rooms, or possums in trashcans. APPOs are trained law enforcement officers responsible for enforcing county ordinances and state laws that pertain to animals and their treatment. The primary function of the Fairfax County Police Department Animal Services Division is to help protect county residents while dealing with pets and animals as humanely as possible.

The Fairfax County Police Department's June 2016 Animal Services Division Organizational Review  

Fairfax County Animal Services Organizational Review (By The PFM Group)




What do Animal protection Police Officers do?

What are the hours of service for Animal Protection Police Officers?

How do I report an incident and what sorts of incidents should I report?

When should wildlife encounters be reported?

What sorts of wildlife/domestic animal incidents should NOT be reported to Animal Protection Police?

Do I need to license my dog?

How do I get a dog license?

What are the penalties for an unlicensed dog?

What do I need to know about Rabies in Fairfax County?

How can I best prepare to care for my pets in the event of an emergency?

Animal Protection Police Officer duties include:

          Enforcement of county codes and state laws that pertain to domestic, as well as wild animals

           Investigation of animal cruelty complaints

           Investigation of dog attacks or bites to humans and animals

           Response to emergencies involving sick or seriously injured animals, including potential human exposure to the rabies virus

           Removal of stray dogs from streets and other public areas

           Response to reports of dog attacks on livestock

Animal Protection Police hours of service:

           Seven days a week

           6 a.m.- 12:30 a.m. call 703-691-2131 to report an incident

What to report and how to make a report:

Call the Fairfax County Police non-emergency dispatch number at 703-691-2131 to report:

           Animal bites

           Animal cruelty or neglect

           Sick or injured wildlife

           Human exposure/encounters with potentially rabid wildlife

Fairfax County Animal Protection Police Officers will respond to the following wildlife encounters/emergencies:

           In a home or business that poses a threat to humans or pets

           Between humans or domestic animals that could result in rabies exposures

           When wildlife shows signs and symptoms of rabies

           When wildlife poses a threat to humans or pets

           When wildlife appear sick or injured

In addition to our officers, The Wildlife Rescue League operates a wildlife assistance hotline that provides the public with advice, resources and referrals to licensed wildlife rehabilitators. You can visit their website for more information,

For all other Wildlife Concerns, Please call The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) Toll-Free Wildlife Hotline at 1-(855) 571-9003 or visit their webpage,   

Fairfax County Animal Protection Police Officers do NOT respond to the following:

           Calls reporting wildlife nuisances

           When wildlife poses no real threat to humans or pets


           Wild animals living under decks, storage sheds, porches

           Wild animals living in populated areas

           Wild animals in attics, basements, garages and sheds

           Wildlife has damaged gardens, flower beds or shrubs

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has more information on their webpage,  You can also call their toll-free wildlife conflict helpline at 1-855-571-9003.

Dog licenses are mandatory in Fairfax County

A license will ensure quick identification and reunion if your dog becomes lost or missing. 

           All dogs age 4 months and older must be licensed

           Licenses are good for one year and expire December 31

           New licenses must be purchased by January 31

           Animal Protection Police Officers enforce the dog license code

How to obtain a dog license in Fairfax County:

The fee for a dog license is $10 for dogs. No license fee is charged the owners of service dogs aiding blind, deaf or mobility-impaired residents.  The fee to replace a lost license tag is $1.

To obtain a dog license you must have the following:

           A copy of dog license application

           A check payable to County of Fairfax County

           A current certificate of rabies vaccination

Mail or deliver the required paperwork to:

          County of Fairfax, Department of Tax Administration, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 223, Fairfax, VA 22035

           8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

           8 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. Thursday

          Animal Shelter, 4500 West Ox Road, Fairfax

           12 p.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday

           10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday

           More information:  703-222-8234

Penalties for an unlicensed dog:

           A class IV misdemeanor

           Up to $250 fine

Learn more about the rabies virus.

           Rabies is a deadly disease, to both humans and animals

           All dogs and cats over four months old must be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed vet

           In Fairfax, the rabies virus has appeared in raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats, and occasionally dogs, cats and ferrets

           Minimize contact between pets and wildlife.

           Report animal bites: 703-691-2131

           Report animals acting strangely or altercations between wild and domestic animals: 703-691-2131

           Learn more about this deadly virus at: or

Preparing to care for your pets in an emergency:

           The Fairfax County Animal Services Division encourages pet owners to be prepared.

           Create a disaster kit for your pets

           Check out the Virginia Department of Emergency Management suggestions on what to include in your pet disaster preparedness kit:



Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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