Animal Shelter

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Building closed; services by advance appointment only; staff on site daily.

4500 West Ox Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Karen Diviney, Ph.D.,

Animal Shelter Service/Program Updates in Response to COVID-19


Guidelines effective September twenty seventh.

2021 Dog License Sales at Shelter - RESUMED JULY 1!

  • In-person dog license sales at the Shelter have resumed! Effective July 1, residents who need to purchase a County dog license may come to the Shelter and ring the doorbell at the main doors for assistance. 


Virtual adoption process, now with expanded in-person appointments to visit pets pre-adoption!

  • Now that vaccines are more widely available, we are pleased to begin offering increased in-person access to the Animal Shelter! We will not be open for unscheduled walk-in visits, though we are excited to begin offering more in-person visit appointments for potential adopters who wish to meet a specific pet, or who wish to browse available pets. For full details and instructions:


Essential services by advance appointment only:

  • Return-to-owner of stray pets: If your pet is at the Shelter as a stray, email or call to make an appointment to reclaim them. Email – – is preferred due to the expected high volume.
    • If you find a stray dog in Fairfax County, you have two options. You may call Animal Protection (703-691-2131) to pick the dog up, or you may hold on to the dog (if you do this option, you must file a found report).
    • If you see a stray cat, please visit this webpage for more info:
  • Dog and cat food pet pantry: If you are a Fairfax County resident facing financial hardship and are in need of dog or cat food (canned and/or dry) to help care for your pet(s) during this difficult and challenging time, please call or email us; the Shelter has a supply of these items available. Call (703-830-1100) or email ( to arrange a time for pickup.


Donations accepted:

  • We are now accepting a very limited number of items as donations. If it's not on the below list, please do not leave it at the shelter; we simply don't have any more storage space, or we cannot use the donated items, and we're having to throw things in the dumpster which we'd like to avoid! 

  • For more info: 


Paused programs and services:

  • Volunteer program – we have paused the onboarding for our in-house volunteer program
  • Shelter Tours and Reading Tails
  • All Scout programming
  • Workshops, group meetings, events


If you have any questions about the changes in Shelter programs and services, please email us at We will be doing our best to respond in a timely manner. We thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate this ever-changing situation while balancing the needs of the shelter pets in our care with the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and community.

If you have an animal-related emergency, such as ill/injured wildlife, a stray dog, or potential abuse or neglect, please contact Animal Protection at 703-691-2131. For more info:


Fairfax Virtual Assistant