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How to Adopt


You have the wonderful opportunity to adopt dogs, cats, and other small companion animals from the Stafford County Animal Shelter, located at 26 Frosty Lane, Stafford, VA 22554. We firmly believe in providing a fresh start and new opportunities for every adoptable animal, without discrimination based on age, breed, or species.

Our adoption fees are $45 for dogs and $35 for cats, which covers the adoption fee and microchipping services. There is no charge for small companion animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, and reptiles. When you adopt a puppy or kitten from our shelter, they receive their first distemper shot and are dewormed. However, it is the adopter's responsibility to ensure they receive follow-up booster shots and routine veterinary care. All adoptions must be completed in person at the shelter, where you will be provided with the necessary paperwork and forms to complete the adoption process.

When coming to adopt from our shelter, please ensure that you have a valid photo ID, such as a driver's license, with you. We will check your ID against our "Do Not Adopt To" list. If your current address is not reflected on your photo ID, we kindly request that you provide a recent bill or similar document as proof of residence.

To ensure the safety of the animals during transportation, we strongly recommend that adopters bring their own cat carrier or a collar and dog leash if they choose to adopt. Proper restraint is vital, and we strictly enforce this policy. Please note that the shelter will not permit the adopter to leave without suitable means of securing the animal. In case you require a cat carrier, we have cat "boxes" available for purchase at a cost of $5.00 each.

Thank you for understanding and complying with these measures to ensure the well-being and security of the adopted animals.

As part of the adoption agreement, you will be required to sign a spay and neuter contract, committing to having the animal spayed or neutered within 30 days or before the animal reaches 6 months of age. This policy is strictly enforced, and no exceptions will be made. All animals adopted from our facility must undergo spaying or neutering. However, if the animal is not a suitable candidate for the surgery due to medical issues or age, a letter from your veterinarian must be submitted directly to the shelter. Please note that if the adopter refuses to have the animal altered, the shelter will deny the adoption. Let's join hands in promoting responsible pet ownership by spaying and neutering our pets, thereby contributing to the reduction of unwanted animals in shelters worldwide.

Residents from any county or state are eligible to adopt if the animal has already been spayed or neutered. Additionally, adoption is open to residents within the following jurisdictions, provided that the animal has not yet undergone spaying or neutering:

  • Caroline

  • Culpeper

  • Fauquier

  • Fredericksburg City

  • King George

  • Prince William

  • Spotsylvania

  • Stafford

                                  Outside Jurisdiction Adoptions

For individuals residing outside the designated jurisdictions, there are alternative adoption options available. As per state law section 3.2-6546, you have the opportunity to adopt an animal that has already been spayed or neutered. To proceed with this option, you can coordinate with a local veterinarian in our area to have the animal undergo the procedure within a few days. On the day of the service, Stafford County Animal Control will transport the animal to the designated veterinarian. Once the animal is ready to go home, you, as the new adopter, will pick it up directly from the veterinarian's office.

It is important to note that all fees associated with the pre-operative care and the surgery itself must be paid in full by the adoptee before the procedure commences. However, it is essential to understand that this arrangement is subject to certain conditions. The animal must not have any severe medical conditions that would hinder the veterinarian from performing the surgery within the specified timeframe.

Please be aware that the shelter reserves the right to evaluate each case individually and may decline outside jurisdiction adoptions at any given time.



                                  Working With Rescue Agencies

Stafford County Animal Control works closely with local and out of state rescue agencies to make sure our animals are placed in the best care. We are always looking to build new, long-term relationships with rescue groups in order to give all of our animals chance at finding a home. We usually seek rescue assistance for animals with medical conditions, behavioral problems, breed or species that need special care, and  assistance when our own shelter is at capacity and we need space. Stafford County has avoided euthanizing for space for the past 5+ years thanks to our families who chose to adopt and rescue agencies!

If you have any further questions, please contact Stafford County Animal Shelter at 540.658.7387 and a dedicated staff member will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about our adoption policies.

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