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.,

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question about the shelter, there's a good chance the answer is on this page!

Tuesday-Friday - 12 noon to 7pm

Saturday and Sunday - 10am to 5pm

Monday - closed

We do not define ourselves as "kill" or "no kill." The term "no kill" means different things to everyone, and it's confusing. We are Fairfax County’s only publicly-funded, open access, municipal shelter. We take in stray animals in need, owner-surrendered companion animals when the owner is no longer willing or able to care for them, and animals who have been seized or taken into custody by Animal Protection Police. We accept all companion animals from Fairfax County who are in need of care, regardless of health, age, temperament, or history. We do not euthanize for space or length of time, and all adoptable animals are given every opportunity for a new home and family. We only euthanize for two reasons: 1) severe medical issues that cannot be treated, rehabilitated, or managed, or 2) if an animal is not safe to place in the community due to offensive aggression issues.

We have an incredibly compassionate staff, vibrant and active volunteer and foster programs, we work with many area rescues, and we support an active TNR program to address community cats. We know that every animal who enters our shelter will be given the best care and shown boundless love while they are in our care, and while they wait for their forever family to adopt them. We are very proud that our positive release rate has been over 90% since 2013!

Yes! Tours must be scheduled in advance, and you may do so by emailing us at We give tours to school and community groups on a regular basis, and it's recommended to schedule as far in advance as you are able to.

Yes, dog licenses can be purchased at the animal shelter or from the Department of Tax Administration at the Fairfax County Government Center. All dogs over the age of four months residing in Fairfax County are required to be licensed. The cost of each license is $10, and they must be renewed at the beginning of each new calendar year. In order to purchase a dog license, a valid rabies certificate must be provided. A dog is required to wear this license tag whenever he or she is off the owner’s property. Cats do not require licenses in Fairfax County but need to be kept up-to-date on rabies vaccinations.