From Lawyer to the Animal Shelter: How Reasa Currier Found Her Passion for Animal Welfare

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County Conversation - Department of Animal Sheltering


Reasa Currier, director of our Department of Animal Sheltering, was featured on a recent edition of the “County Conversation” podcast.

Currier discussed the county's efforts to reduce pet overpopulation and provide resources to keep pets in homes. The shelter currently takes in 4,000-5,000 animals per year and has over a 90% live release rate. However, they are seeing an increase in surrendered animals due to economic factors like lack of affordable pet-friendly housing and higher vet costs.

To combat this, the department is opening a second full-service shelter location in Lorton in October that will double capacity and provide adoptions and low-cost vet care for accessible pet ownership.


The county will open a second animal shelter in Lorton near the Workhouse Arts Center by the end of October. According to Currier, the new location will be roughly double the county's capacity to care for homeless pets and advances the county's transition toward a robust, community-based model for animal welfare.

The Lorton campus will have 44 double-sided dog kennels, 42 cat condos, two catios and a state-of-the-art veterinary clinic. There will also be a 20,000-square-foot outdoor space for the animals.

The Lorton Campus will be a fully equipped companion facility, not just an annex. It will provide all the same services as the existing Michael R. Frey Animal Shelter location on West Ox Road in Fairfax, including adoptions, surrenders, veterinary care, behavior training and more. 

"That is the name that we chose with intention because it's not just a shelter. It's a campus,” noted Currier. “In addition to sheltering animals, we are going to have a lot of resources for our community and that includes access to training support, access to veterinary medical care … and it's also a resource center for residents.”



Currier noted that the shelter could not provide its high level of care without dedicated volunteers and fundraising support. The shelter utilizes approximately 15,000 volunteer hours annually and fosters care for approximately 50% of animals during peak seasons. In addition, the nonprofit Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter provides approximately 20% of the shelter's yearly budget, which enables life-saving veterinary treatment for shelter pets.



Full adoption, volunteer opportunities and event details are available on the Animal Shelter webpage, as well as Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter).


"I always want people to know that animals end up in our shelter because of no fault of their own. They're not broken. Nothing's wrong with them. We have pets that come to us in so many different circumstances." -Reasa Currier



The Animal Shelter is the county's only open-access, municipal shelter. Serving 4,000 to 5,000 animals each year, the shelter provides a safe place for dogs, cats and small animals to stay while they wait for their forever families. At any given time, visitors to the shelter can meet cats and kittens, dogs and puppies, and dozens of small animals. The shelter has a live release rate of over 90%, and has excellent volunteer and foster programs, a compassionate staff and progressive sheltering policies and practices.



The “County Conversation” is a podcast featuring employees and subject matter experts from the Fairfax County Government discussing programs, services and items of interest to residents of Fairfax County. Click here to listen to past episodes of "County Conversation.” To find other county podcasts, visit

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