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.,


Due to the overwhelming influx of items being donated at the Shelter, we are now no longer accepting any items for donation, with a few exceptions. 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! 

Below are the only items we are currently able to accept:

  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. Items from our Amazon wishlist: 
  4. Monetary donations are always very much appreciated and should be directed to the Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter: 
Please do not leave any other items outside our doors; they are thrown away.


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. Homemade dog or cat treats
  5. Prescription medications
  6. Dog toys made from braided t-shirts
  7. Anything not on the above list!


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!

If your child or a group of kids wants to do a project to donate to the Shelter, PLEASE reach out to us first to see what we need and can use. Below are some ideas for your consideration.

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. We need larger blankets, 4' x 3' preferably! 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:

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!

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:

Fairfax Virtual Assistant