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.,


We are accepting a few types of donations for drop off:

  1. Unopened and unexpired dry pet food, and unexpired canned pet food
  2. Opened unexpired dry pet food - to pass along to our wildlife rescue partners
  3. Towels - just bath and hand towels, no wash clothes
  4. Newspaper
  5. Pet carriers and crates - clean and in good condition
  6. New pet beds, bowls, collars, leashes, and toys
Please do not leave any other items outside our doors; it is thrown away, and due to the ongoing pandemic we'd like to avoid our staff handling excess items.


Items we cannot accept nor use:

  1. Bedding, including: sheets, comforters, pillows, cushions
  2. Heavily used, dirty, or ripped/torn items
  3. Used litter boxes
  4. Prescription medications


Other ways to donate:

  1. View our Amazon Wish List to send us items we need!
    • If you shop on Amazon, you have the option of designating the Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter as your charity of choice via Amazon Smile, which generates even more donations to help our shelter pets!
  2. Visit the Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter webpage, whose work helps support the shelter and provides the financial means for lifesaving care in numerous ways.


Kids Can Help!

Check out the below ideas for ways kids can help our shelter pets. PLEASE save these items at home, until the Shelter is able to accept donations again.

Have a bake sale

Have fun with friends making delicious baked goods and donate the profits from your sale to the shelter! You might ask a local business if you can set up outside on a busy weekend day to sell your goods. Make a big sign letting everyone know your proceeds will be donated to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter.

Make fleece blankets

Our dogs and cats love to have soft blankets for cuddling! You can make blankets without sewing by cutting two pieces of fleece of equal size, cutting fringe all the way around and tying the fringe pieces together. For instructions, visit:

Build a cat scratcher

All cats love to scratch and cardboard is the best place to do it. Collect recycled cardboard from shipping boxes to make him a stylish scratch pad for free. You can even get creative and personalize the pad by decorating the outside with paint, markers or scrapbooking paper. For instructions, visit:

Make a snuffle mat

The snuffle mat is a homemade toy that provides dogs and cats with an opportunity to sniff and search for hidden treats. The snuffle mat consists of fleece strips tied on to a rubber mat with holes in it. The loose ends of the fleece are on top and provide the hiding spots for the treats. For instructions, visit:

Build a treat toy

If you’re looking for a more advanced project, please consider making an interactive treat toy. Toys like this are perfect for keeping our animals busy – and a busy shelter animal also means a more tired shelter animal! These can be used for dogs, cats, and some small mammals! For instructions, visit:

Hold a penny drive

You can do this on your own, as part of a group, or as a competition between groups. All you have to do is ask for pennies! Find a container and make it a goal to fill it by a certain date! Be sure to exchange your collected pennies at the bank before bringing them to the shelter!

Make bunny toys

Let’s not forget the small companion animals in our care! Bunnies get bored just like any other animal (or human!) and need something to do! We all have cardboard boxes lying around, not being used; why not create a cardboard ball for a small animal?! For instructions, visit:

Color ping pong balls

Here’s a great project for some of our youngest helpers: Our cats always need toys! Decorated ping-pong balls are a fun, easy option. Use non-toxic markers to draw and color on new or gently used ping-pong balls in whatever way you would like!

Hold a supply drive

Collecting items from our wish list is a GREAT way to support the animals in our care! Whether it's a new comfortable bed for a cat or a puzzle toy for a dog, donations help the shelter immensely. Items from our wish-list go directly to support shelter animals, both at the shelter and in our foster program. Visit our donations page for more information at:

Fairfax Virtual Assistant