Animal Shelter

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: open Tues-Fri 12-7pm, and Sat-Sun 10am-5pm; closed Mondays

4500 West Ox Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Karen Diviney, Ph.D.,


We appreciate donations from the community, and so do our shelter pets! Whether it's a new comfortable bed for a cat, or a puzzle toy for a dog, or the always-needed paper towels for general shelter use, donations help the shelter immensely. Donations from our 'wish list' go directly to support shelter animals, both at the shelter and in our foster program. Items that we receive but cannot use here at the shelter go to our wildlife rescue partners or rescue partners.


How to donate:

  1. Bring donations to the shelter during open business hours, which are Tuesday-Friday 12-7pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 10am-5pm. (Please do not leave donations outside the shelter.)
  2. View our Amazon Wish List!
    • 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!
  3. 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.


Items the shelter can use:

  • new Nylabone and Kong toys for dogs
  • new cat toys
  • cardboard cat scratchers
  • puzzle toys for cats and dogs
  • small animal supplies
  • timothy hay
  • fleece blankets
  • comfy pet beds of all sizes
  • gift cards to almost anywhere (Target, pet stores, Walmart, etc)
  • paper towels
  • towels in good shape (bath or hand sized, no washcloths)
  • pet food and treats (unexpired only, please)
    • If unopened, it goes on our donation shelf for adopters to take home, setting them up nicely to welcome their new pet home!
    • If opened, it goes to our wildlife rescue partners, who help us by taking in orphaned baby wildlife!


We do not accept the following items:

  • any type of prescription pet medications
  • fitted or flat sheets
  • pillows or pillowcases
  • comforters or large bedspreads
  • couch or other cushions


Kids Can Help!

Check out the below ideas for ways kids can help our shelter pets!

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