Animal Shelter

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Building closed; services by advance appointment only; staff on site 9am-5pm daily.

4500 West Ox Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Karen Diviney, Ph.D.,

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

Fairfax County began its third phase of reopening on July 1. For the Animal Shelter, there are no major changes to the way we have been operating. The Shelter is still closed to walk-in visitors, and services are by advance appointment only. The follow program operating information is in place until further notice.

Phase 3b


2021 Dog Licenses

Green background with three cartoon dogs with text, which is also in text below!
  • In-person purchase option on-site at the Shelter for dog licenses!
    • Saturdays and Sundays only, 12-3pm
    • November 7, 2020 through January 31, 2021
    • Process will be socially distanced, and masks are required!
    • $10 per license, cash or check only.
    • Rabies certificates for each dog are required to purchase a dog license; please bring the printed certificate or have a photo/document on your phone.
    • Visit the Department of Tax Administration webpage for other options on how to renew or purchase a dog license: 


Virtual adoption process!

  • Our virtual adoption process is working great, and has allowed us to continue our adoption program while keeping the health of our staff and the community in mind. 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.


Paused programs and services:

  • Volunteer program – we have paused the onboarding for our in-house volunteer program.
  • Shelter Tours and Reading Tails
  • Workshops, group meetings, events
  • Rabbit spay/neuter – we are still able to spay/neuter many rabbits before adoption, however due to schedule availability some rabbit adopters will be given a voucher to be used at a later date.



Many of our shelter pets are in foster homes. Those pets who remain for various reasons will be, of course, cared for and loved by our amazing and hardworking shelter staff. We will post updates and share stories as usual on our social media!

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 navigate this 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