Animal Shelter

Fairfax County, Virginia

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

4500 West Ox Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Karen Diviney, Ph.D.,
Director

Adoption FAQs

Are you ready to adopt a pet? Great! Here are the most frequently asked questions about adopting a new pet from our shelter.

  1. Must be at least 18 years old, with a current photo ID
  2. Bring rabies vaccination certificate(s) for any current dogs and/or cats in the home
  3. Have licenses for currently-owned dogs (if you live in Fairfax County)
  4. Show proof that you're allowed to have the pet where you live (proof of home ownership, OR lease with pet addendum, OR letter/email from landlord/home owner)
  1. Spay/neuter
  2. Rabies vaccination (if they're old enough)
  3. Distemper and bordatella vaccinations
  4. Microchip
  5. Initial deworming and flea/tick preventative
  6. Heartworm test (if they're old enough)
  7. A collar, personalized tag, and leash, courtesy of the Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter
  8. A certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian. (Fees for other services performed will be paid by the adopter to the vet hospital.)
  9. An information packet including medical documents and other useful resources
  10. A follow-up phone call or email to check in!
  1. Spay/neuter
  2. Rabies vaccination (if they're old enough)
  3. Distemper vaccination
  4. Microchip
  5. Initial deworming and flea/tick preventative
  6. Combo test (for FIV and FeLV)
  7. A optional collar and personalized tag, courtesy of the Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter
  8. A certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian. (Fees for other services performed will be paid by the adopter to the vet hospital.)
  9. An information packet including medical documents and other useful resources
  10. A follow-up phone call or email to check in!
  1. Spay/neuter
  2. Initial deworming
  3. A certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian. (Fees for other services performed will be paid by the adopter to the vet hospital.)
  4. An information packet including medical documents and other useful resources
  5. A follow-up phone call or email to check in!

People who live in Fairfax County who adopt a dog will need to purchase a county dog license for $10. Residents of other counties who adopt will need to check with their jurisdiction on the license laws there.

In fairness to everyone and in the best interest of animals waiting to find a home, we do not hold pets for adopters who are not prepared to complete an adoption at the time of the visit. We also are not able to maintain a call list for people interested in a specific type (breed, size, color, etc) of animal.

A manager may place a hold on a pet when a visitor has an adoption in progress at the end of a business day that staff cannot complete before closing. If you have met with the animal you wish to adopt, have completed the adoption questionnaire, and are simply waiting for an adoption counselor to process the adoption, and it is too close to the end of our open hours for that to be completed, the shelter may place an "administrative hold" on that animal until the next day. If you find yourself in this situation towards closing time, please ask about an "administrative hold."

No appointments are necessary. You can stop by the shelter during open hours, and if you'd like to visit with a pet just ask a volunteer or staff person to meet them. You can interact with cats in our cat adoption area or in a visitation room. Small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs can be taken out of their enclosures into the small animal visitation area. For dogs, there are outdoor fenced areas to visit in, or in inclement weather we utilize indoor visitation rooms or our large conference room.

Pets available for adoption can be viewed online, on our Petango page. The website is updated in real time, so you can see which pets are available. Pets are adopted on a first-come, first-served basis, and we do not put holds on animals.

While very rare, the shelter does reserve the right to decline an adoption, even if the interested adopter meets our adoption criteria, if the shelter feels strongly it is in the best interest of the animal and/or the interested adopter to do so.