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