Loudoun County Animal Shelter

Waterford, Virginia

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About Loudoun County Animal Shelter

Loudoun County Animal Shelter is a county-run animal shelter and control center in Waterford, Virginia. The shelter is operated by Loudoun County Animal Services with the aim of providing the shelter and care that all animals of Loudoun County need and deserve.

In addition to running the shelter, Loudoun County Animal Services offers several other important community services:

  • Dog licensing
  • Shelter tours
  • Educational classroom-based programs for students
  • Rabies vaccination clinics
  • Post-adoption support
  • Stop Abuse & Violence Effort (SAVE)
  • OPERATION: Protect Livestock

If you have a concern about the safety or well-being of any animal in Loudoun County or are looking to expand your family by adopting a shelter animal in need, contact Loudoun County Animal Services and the Loudoun County Animal Shelter, today!

Contact Info

39820 Charles Town Pike
(540) 882-3211
Website: loudoun.gov/animals

Hours of Operation

Tue - Sun: 11:30 am - 5:30 pm
Mon: Closed

Adoption Process

The adoption process at Loudoun County Animal Shelter is as follows:

  1. Visit their website and browse through available pets. Choose the one that you wish to meet the most. Remember to pick a pet that you feel would most fit your lifestyle.
  2. Call the shelter to make sure the animal is still available. If so, schedule an appointment to meet them. Some appointments can be done virtually.
  3. Complete the adoption application and email it to the shelter before your appointment.
  4. Meet the animal you're considering for adoption. Also ask Loudoun County Animal Shelter's amazing staff any questions about the animal's history or needs.
  5. Ready to adopt? Great! Finalize the adoption contract and pay the associated fee.
  6. Bring your new pet home! Make sure you have a leash and collar for dogs or a cat carrier for cats and small animals.

To expedite the adoption process, make sure you meet Loudoun County Animal Shelter's adoption requirements:

  • You must be 18+ years old.
  • You must not have a history of animal-related ordinance violations.
  • You must provide proof that all of your existing animals are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  • Home visits may be required for some animals.
  • Declawed cats must be kept as indoor pets.
  • You must provide landlord approval if you're a renter.
  • You must be able to meet any of the care needs of the specific animal you're adopting.

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees at Loudoun County Animal Shelter are as follows:


  • Puppies (under 1 year): $150
  • Adults (1+ years): $55
  • Wise Whiskers (over 9 years): $25


  • Kittens (under 7 months): $175
  • Adults (7+ months): $150
  • Wise Whiskers (over 9 years): $100

Other Animals

  • Rabbits: $25
  • Small pets (hamster, rat): $5
  • Exotic pets (ferret, chinchilla): $30
  • Reptiles and amphibians: $30
  • Small birds (finch, parakeet): $5
  • Medium birds (cockatiel): $20
  • Large birds (macaws): $100
  • Livestock: Please call
  • Poultry and fish: $2

Your adoption fee covers spaying/neutering, rabies, DHPP, and bordetella (kennel cough) vaccinations, FIV/FeLV testing in cats, deworming, heartworm testing in dogs, and microchipping.

Adoption Process & Fees

Our writing team is hard at work researching this shelter's adoption process and fees, so this page will be updated soon!

In the meantime, here's some nice-to-know info that applies to nearly every animal shelter, humane society, and rescue.

Why Rescue A Shelter Dog?

Because shelter dogs are full of love!

Is it because they know you saved them and love you harder for it?

I can't say for certain, but yes.

Jokes aside, there are three things all shelter dogs need to thrive in their new home:

  1. Love
  2. Patient
  3. Training

Older shelter dogs, generally 1+ years old, may have experienced a lot of trauma, which often results in one of 8 common behavioral issues:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Aggression toward people & pets
  3. Resource guarding
  4. Destructive behavior
  5. Housetraining regression
  6. Poor social skills
  7. Leash reactivity & barrier-related aggression
  8. Constant whining

These issues are correctable! Your dog isn't broken, they're just damaged. You can fix them with enough love, patience, and a good training plan.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, finding good dog trainers can be hard. Like everything else, dog training is moving only. but there are great online dog trainers that are proven to work and can help get your new pup on the right path.

Animal Shelter vs Humane Society vs Rescue: What's the Difference?

You can learn a lot about an animal welfare organization just by looking at their name.

Animal Shelters

  • Most Animal Shelters are city or county-run organizations, often operated by the local Animal Control department, that manage strays and handle owner surrenders.
  • They usually have kennel facilities you can visit to adopt animals, and they usually have less stringent adoption requirements, lower adoption fees, and same-day adoptions (because their goal is to get animals out of the shelter).
  • Unfortunately, they usually know very little about each animal, including their true personalities and any behavioral problems.

Humane Societies

  • Most Humane Societies are non-profit organizations, many of which are no-kill shelters.
  • Some (but not all) are affiliated with The Humane Society of the United States.
  • They exist to improve animal welfare in the local community and often partner with city or county-run Animal Shelters that often euthanize animals due to capacity restraints.
  • They usually have kennel facilities, sometimes at multiple locations, and usually offer other services to the community such as low-cost spay/neuter clinics, community education programs, and more.
  • They may also have some animals in foster care.
  • There's a lot of variation in process and fees among Humane Societies, but they usually have really good websites that detail everything for you.


  • Most Rescues are foster-based organizations that don't have physical facilities.
  • They usually have websites and contact emails, but not all of them have phone numbers.
  • Because they don't have a physical facility, you need to view animals in their foster network online, usually on their website but sometimes on their member pages on either PetFinder or Adopt-a-Pet.
  • If you see an animal you'd like to meet, contact the rescue using the process listed on their website or via email. They'll help you through the application process and set up a time for you to meet the animal at the foster's home.
  • Adopting from a rescue generally is the most expensive option here and takes the longest, but you get an animal that's been cared for in a loving home environment and their foster can tell you a lot about their personality.

6 Tips to Improve Your Adoption Experience

Adoption processes vary drastically from organization to organization, but here are some general tips that apply in most instances. Note that we'll use the term "shelters" here for simplicity but it includes all types of rescue organizations.

  1. See an animal online that you'd like to meet? Call the shelter before your visit to make sure the animal is still available. This especially applies for puppies, which are adopted out quickly.
  2. Usually, you'll need to get some paperwork in order: a photo ID, vaccination/medical records for any pets you currently have, possibly your vet's contact info and a couple of personal references, and (for renters) proof you're allowed to have a pet (copy of your lease or your landlord's contact info).
  3. If you need to provide contact info for your vet, let your vet know ahead of time. Otherwise, they may not release your information.
  4. Many shelters require your current dogs to meet adoptive dogs. Your current dogs need to be up-to-date on vaccinations.
  5. Some shelters require you to schedule a home visit to ensure a suitable living environment for the new animal.
  6. Adoption fees may seem excessive, but they're actually amazing values. Truthfully, caring for a pet is expensive. Most adoption fees include required medical care to get the animal ready for their new home including (but not limited to) spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, general vet exams, flea/tick treatment, deworming, heartworm testing/treatment for dogs, and feline leukemia and feline AIDS testing/treatment for cats. In general, your adoption fee is less than the cost of this care, so you're saving money in addition to your new animal's life!

If you have any questions about adopting an animal (what you'll need, what to expect, etc.) feel free to contact the PetLists team!

For more information about what's included in your adoption fee, or any other questions about the adoption process, reach out to
Loudoun County Animal Shelter
directly using the contact info above.

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All information on this page is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge. If you spot an error, please contact us using our contact form.
Note: Hours of operation and other information on this page are subject to change during the COVID-19 pandemic.