Virginia Animal Shelter

Find Virginia animal shelters, puppy dog and cat shelters, pet adoption centers, dog pounds, and humane societies. Animal shelters provide information on adopting dogs, cats, and pets, animal care and rescue, and animal control.


Animal Shelters by County

Accomack County Alexandria Amelia County Amherst County Appomattox County Arlington County Augusta County Bath County Bedford County Bland County Botetourt County Bristol Brunswick County Buchanan County Buckingham County Buena Vista Campbell County Caroline County Charles City County Charlotte County Charlottesville Chesapeake Chesterfield County Clarke County Colonial Heights Covington Craig County Culpeper County Cumberland County Danville Dickenson County Dinwiddie County Emporia Essex County Fairfax County Fairfax Falls Church Fauquier County Floyd County Fluvanna County Franklin County Franklin Fredericksburg Galax Giles County Gloucester County Goochland County Greene County Halifax County Hampton Hanover County Harrisonburg Henrico County Henry County Hopewell Isle of Wight County King George County King William County Lancaster County Lee County Lexington Loudoun County Lunenburg County Lynchburg Madison County Manassas Park Manassas Martinsville Mathews County Mecklenburg County Middlesex County Montgomery County Nelson County New Kent County Newport News Norfolk Northampton County Northumberland County Nottoway County Orange County Page County Patrick County Petersburg Pittsylvania County Portsmouth Powhatan County Prince Edward County Prince George County Prince William County Pulaski County Radford Rappahannock County Richmond County Richmond Roanoke County Roanoke Rockbridge County Rockingham County Russell County Salem Scott County Shenandoah County Smyth County Southampton County Spotsylvania County Stafford County Staunton Suffolk Surry County Sussex County Tazewell County Virginia Beach Warren County Washington County Waynesboro Westmoreland County Williamsburg Winchester Wise County Wythe County York County

What does an Animal Shelter do?

An animal shelter is a facility that provides care for dogs, cats, and other household pets. These animals are often stray, neglected, or surrendered. Animal shelter facilities provide housing, food, and medical care for dogs, cats, and other animals. They also provide education for new pet owners. Shelters work to find homes for animals and help lost animals return to their families. Animal shelters come in a range of styles; some have individual cages for animals while others have large spaces. While local or state governments run some animal shelters, nearly all of them are licensed by the state and receive some form of government funding through grants.

Some animal shelters will periodically euthanize animals to make space for new arrivals. Others euthanize animals that are sick or injured, dangerous to other animals, or harmful to people. Shelters have rules about how long they keep a stray animal before euthanizing it. While most shelters only accept animals kept as pets, some animal will accept wild animals like injured birds or feral rabbits.

Commonly asked questions about Animal Shelters

What is the difference between an animal shelter and a humane society?

The Humane Society is an organization dedicated to eliminating abuse of animals. This group advocates for animals and works with government agencies to reduce the number of stray and unwanted animals. Humane societies assist local governments with their animal shelters, to ensure they provide high-quality services. Animal shelters are usually run by local governments, but humane societies take donations and work with volunteers to provide services.

If I cannot adopt an animal, can I spend time with it?

Many animal shelters do appreciate having volunteers come in and spend time with the animals, however, it's best to ask your local animal shelter about their policies on volunteers.

Do Animal Shelters charge fees for adopting pets?

Most animal shelters do charge an adoption fee. The fees often include the cost of spaying or neutering the animal that is to be adopted. The fees help pay for food, medical care, and the utilities used to keep animals safe. It's normal practice to give money in exchange for adopting a pet from an animal shelter.