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Who We Are
The mission of the Virginia Beach Animal Control Unit is to balance the health, safety and welfare needs of the people and animals in our City.
Our mission is accomplished by working with our citizens and other animal welfare organizations; by enforcing the domestic animals laws of our Commonwealth and our City,
providing educational programs and humanely providing care, nourishment and a safe environment for the unwanted, stray, abused and abandoned animals in our City.
We will educate the public about responsible companion animal ownership, aggressively investigate animal cruelty cases, find homes for the homeless animals and humanely euthanize the unwanted animals in our community.
Officers answer calls
for service from 6:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. daily, including holidays. After 11:00
p.m., an Animal Control Officer is on stand-by to assist injured animals or handle emergency situations after hours.
To report an animal related violation, please contact the Animal Control Dispatcher at: (757) 385-4444 Emergency 911
Shelter Hours of Operation
Admissions & Adoptions
Saturday & Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday- 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Thursday - 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center
341 S. Birdneck Road
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
Telephone (757) 385-4444
Facsimile (757) 427-0199
For more information regarding the Virginia Beach Animal Control Unit, the services we offer the citizens of Virginia Beach and local animal control ordinances, please visit our official website on VBGov.com
Adopt a Pet From Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center
Yes, animals are available for adoption! Animals that are impounded at the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center are held for a minimum of 5 days commencing on the first day after impoundment.
Animals without a collar are held for 5 days, animals with a collar are held for 10 days. These animals are available for adoption if not first claimed by their rightful owner. Sterilization of a dog or cat adopted from the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center is required under Virginia State Code §3.2-6546
Citizens interested in adopting an animal are encouraged to visit the shelter. Some animals can go home right away, where others must be held for a few days first. All animals available for adoption are accessible to the public for viewing. In many cases the animal can go home with you the same day. A representative selection of animals in the kennel can be viewed at Petfinder .
All dogs and cats adopted from the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center will be sterilized prior to the adopter taking the animal home.
Upon adoption and
within 10 days the animal must be taken to a licensed veterinarian for a
If an animal is found
to be ill and the new owner wishes to return it they may, with written
proof of illness from the veterinarian.
Please keep in mind that as a municipal animal shelter, we have
very few indications as to which kinds of pets will arrive at any given time and the best selections
go home the fastest. Please visit our shelter early and often to find the pet you are looking for.
PLEASE, never adopt a companion animal on an impulse-having a pet
is a full-time responsibility as well as a financial commimtment. Make sure that you as well as
every member of your family is ready, willing and able to take on the obligations associated with
pet ownership, give careful thought to the kind of pet that would be best-suited for your home and
then come and visit our shelter.
Dogs that have not been spayed or neutered
Dogs spayed/neutered at City expense
Dogs spayed/neutered not at the expense of the City
$25.00 Adoption Fee
$7.00 License Fee
Cats that have not been spayed or neutered
Cats spayed or neutered at City expense
Cats spayed or neutered not at City expense
$20.00 Adoption Fee
$5.00 License Fee
All other companion Animals $15.00
Visit Our Adoptable Animals!
Please Be Aware of the Following
In 2010, the Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center handled 7089 animals and over 70% of the animals that
arrived were strays with no health or behavior history.
For this reason, the Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center, the Virginia Beach
Police Department or the City of Virginia Beach cannot offer
any form of guarantee as to the health or temperament of the animal being adopted.
We will make every reasonable effort to ascertain the overall health and behavior
of the animals we have available for adoption to the public, however the ultimate
responsibility for choosing the right pet lies with the pet adopter.
If you adopt an animal from our shelter and if for any reason the pet is not suitable, simply return it to our shelter.
Due to the high volume of animals that arrive at the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center shelter from strays found by Officers, animals that have been surrendered to our care by their owners and those that are turned is as strays by citizens, we do our best to keep our listings updated with pets currently available in our shelter.
However, in some cases a pet listed on PetFinder might have been adopted or reclaimed by it's owner.
We make every effort to keep our Petfinder listings as current as possible but in some cases, we may not have an animal in our shelter that you see on Petfinder.
Please stop by our shelter during normal business hours to visit the animals that are ready to make their new home with you.
Animal License Requirements in Virginia Beach
§5-300 of the Code of Virginia Beach states:
"It shall be unlawful
for any person to own a dog or cat four (4) months old or older in this
city, unless such dog or cat is licensed under the provisions of this
Under the recently amended city code, pet owners can obtain an animal license that is valid for up to three years that runs concurrently with your pet's rabies vaccination.
If your veterinarian does not participate in the City of Virginia Beach animal license program, simply bring a copy of your pet's recent rabies vaccination to the Animal Care and Adoption Center during normal business hours,
the Virginia Beach SPCA located at 3040 Holland Road or visit any office of the City Treasurer to obtain your pet's animal license.
Animal License Fees:
The animal license fees for the City of Virginia Beach as defined by §5-303 are as follows:
Spayed & Neutered Animals
Dogs & Cats
Kennel of five (5)
to twenty (20) dogs, or cattery of five (5) to twenty (20) cats,
twenty-one (21) or more dogs, or cattery of twenty-one (21) or more
cats, annually $50.00*
Remember to bring your pet's current rabies certificate
* Pursuant to Virginia Code §3.2-6500, a "kennel" is any establishment in which five or more canines are kept for the purpose of breeding, hunting, training, renting, buying, boarding, selling, or showing. A "cattery" is a similar establishment for felines. The owner of a kennel or cattery shall pay the kennel or cattery tax imposed above but shall not be required to also pay the individual dog or cat license fees listed in subsections (1) and (2) for any dog or cat that is owned by the owner of the kennel or cattery and that is housed within the kennel or cattery.
Download a Virginia Beach Animal License Application (PDF)
Why Are Animal Licenses Important?
Animal licenses have been a part of pet ownership in America since the early 1800's and were initially used as the only means by which animal control officers of the day could distinguish stray animals from those that had owners.
Sometime after World War II, animal licenses were seen as a means to not only identify animals with owners, but to assist in assuring pet owners were complying with the new (at that time) requirement of having their pet vaccinated against the rabies virus.
Of course, license fees not only administer the license program in Virginia Beach but also help provide operating revenue for the Virginia Beach Bureau of Animal Control. Each year, we provide care for thousands of lost, stray, seized and surrendered animals in Virginia Beach, investigate animal cruelty and neglect as well as provide education services to the community we serve.
But tax revenue isn't the only reason pet owners are required to license their pets.
If your pet is lost and arrives at an animal shelter, your pets' animal license provides shelter staff with the means to contact you in order to reclaim your companion.
Each year, thousands of animal are euthanized in Hampton Roads animal shelters, many of them arrived with no identification of any kind, leaving shelter staff with no means of contacting the rightful owner. Under Virginia law, the presence of a collar, an ID tag or some other form of identification literally doubles the amount of time a shelter must hold an animal-up to 10 days. After that time, an animal can be humanely euthanized or placed up for adoption.
Did you know that according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Infectious Diseases as well as the World Health Organization, approximately 55,000 people die from rabies exposure each year?
The City of Virginia Beach uses our animal license requirements to help insure that our citizens as well as their pets are protected against rabies.
By complying with the law requiring your pet to receive a rabies vaccination and to wear an animal license, you are demonstrating the commitment of a responsible pet owner not only to your animal, but to your community that you are doing your part to find your animal should it ever become lost as well as insuring that your community as well as your pet is protected against the deadly rabies virus.
What Else Can You Do?
As any experienced pet owner knows, an animal's collar can be lost or removed either by the pet's owner for a variety of reasons, the animal somehow frees themselves of it or it could be removed by another person.
This is why the Virginia Beach Bureau of Animal Control urges pet owners to consider having their pet implanted with an RFID microchip to help our Officers, Veterinarians or other animal shelter staff members identify your pet and return it to you. A microchip is also a valuable tool in helping determine beyond a doubt the rightful owner(s) of a pet when ownership might be in question.
These tiny devices (about the size of a grain of rice) are implanted under your pet's skin with a large needle and will remain there throughout your pet's life.
A common misconception is that a pet implanted with microchip can be located with global positioning or a radio directional finder.
There are radio-directional collars you can buy which are used primarily for locating hunting dogs, but we are not aware of any GPS service available to help recover lost or missing pets.
When a pet is received by Virginia Beach Animal Control, upon it's arrival at our shelter it is "scanned" for a microchip using a hand-held reader that emits a low-power radio signal.
If a microchip is implanted in the pet being scanned, the microchip will reflect an alpha-numeric identification number that is then displayed on the chip reader. Shelter staff will contact the manufacturer of the microchip to obtain the owners contact information in order to return the pet to it's owner.
Keep your pet's microchip registration up-to-date with the manufacturer. Too often a pet is found to have a microchip and the only information available is the shelter, veterinarian or facility that implanted the chip. If an owner has moved or never registered the chip, we might not be able to locate the owner.
Where Can I Have My Pet Micro-chipped?
Microchips are available at most Veterinarians offices as well as from several of our local SPCA's such as the Virginia Beach SPCA and the Norfolk SPCA.
This is a minor procedure and can be performed at any time.
While the needle is large, when properly implanted the discomfort to your pet is minimal. If pain is a concern, you can have your pet micro-chipped while it is under anesthesia for a spay/neuter procedure, teeth cleaning or ask that a local anesthetic be administered. Some microchips even come with emergency pet care coverage should your pet ever become sick or injured after you report it has been lost.
Each year, thousands of lost or stray companion animals arrive at shelters throughout Hampton Roads and only a handful are recovered by their owners. Having your pet micro-chipped and keeping the registration up-to-date is one of the best ways to assure your pet can be returned.
The Friends of Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center is seeking motivated volunteers who would like to assist the animals in our shelter find new homes and need your help.
Applicants must meet Volunteer Requirements established by the City of Virginia Beach, submit to a criminal background check and must never have been arrested, charged or convicted of any animal-related crime in any jurisdiction.
Volunteers are needed to photograph animals in our shelter for display on PetFinder, exercising and walking dogs in our kennels, spending time with and comforting cats and participation in public events where our pets will be available for adoption.
All animal lovers are welcomed and encouraged to apply
Visit Friends of Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center on the web!
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