Animal Care & Control

Animal Care & Control


39820 Charles Town Pike, Waterford

Eastern Loudoun number: 703-777-0406

Western Loudoun number: 540-882-3211

To dispatch an animal control officer for emergencies, contact the Sheriff's Office: 703-777-0445.


Office hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Wednesdays, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Animal viewing and adoption hours: Mondays and Tuesdays, 1-6 p.m.; Wednesdays, 1-8 p.m.; Thursdays, 1-6 p.m.; Fridays, 1-6 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed on Sundays and holidays.

The Loudoun County Animal Shelter is a 13-acre facility that provides adoption, health and isolation services for dogs and cats. The shelter is a home for stray and abandoned animals, sells dog licenses, provides educational tours and adoption services for residents of any county in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, etc.

Adoptions: Adoptions are available for the shelter's dogs, cats and other livestock and exotic animals that are allowed in Northern Virginia counties. All cats and dogs must be spayed or neutered by a Loudoun County veterinarian. Adoption fees, which vary per animal, include spaying/neutering, worming, vaccinations, flea and tick treatment, a free health check, and a microchip under the skin for information/tracking purposes. Potential adopters should visit the shelter during animal viewing and adoption hours. When an animal is found, an adoption application must be completed and approved. Application approval takes 24-72 hours, after which the potential adopters will be notified of their approval or disapproval.

Strays: All stray dogs must stay with the animal shelter for 10 days and all stray cats must stay with the shelter for five days, after which the animal becomes the property of the county. Cats with collars must stay 10 days. Approved strays are available for adoption, however, the adoption will be voided if the owner of the stray comes forward.

Lost Pets: Call the animal shelter at 703-777-0406 or 540-882-3211 to make a report.

Found Pets: Residents who find a pet should call the shelter and notify local veterinarians.

Reclaiming a Pet: To reclaim a pet, a person needs proof of ownership — a rabies vaccination certificate, veterinary records or a dog license will suffice. Daily boarding fees at the shelter are $15 for livestock, $15 for dogs, $10 for cats, $8 for reptiles and exotic animals, $5 for rabbits, ferrets and rodents. There is a $20 fee for animals that need to be quarantined. In the event that an animal warden brings the pet to the shelter, there will be a $30 pickup fee for the first time. Subsequent pickups in a 24-month period are $50.

Giving Up a Pet: The giving up of pets must be done during normal shelter business hours. There is no guarantee of the animal's adoption and no information is provided on the ultimate disposition of the animal if later asked. Loudoun County residents have the right to reclaim their pets within 24-business hours.

Tours: The animal shelter provides tours for schools, civic organizations and organized groups. Tours must be scheduled with the animal shelter at least 30 days in advance. Shelter tours are Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1-4 p.m. and Wednesdays between 1-6 p.m. and last between 30 and 60 minutes. To schedule a tour, call 703-777-0406.

Off-site Presentations: Animal Care and Control is also available to present or exhibit at community events such as public safety fairs and open houses when possible.

Volunteers: Volunteers are always welcome at the animal shelter. Positions available include volunteer teams for special events, cat cuddler, dog groomer, dog walker, foster care, pets to vets, public education team, small animal friend and Web photographer. In the areas of animal care, clerical support/customer service, the pet adoption program, the public-education program and special programs. Age and experience requirements and hours vary based on the job. For more information on times, schedules and position descriptions, visit the Web site at and click the services tab to find the Animal Care and Control Page.


To dispatch an animal control officer for emergencies, contact the Sheriff's Office: 703-777-0445.

Regular response hours: Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Emergency response hours: All other hours. Call 703-777-1021.

Response times: 45 minutes for high priority cases; several days for low priority cases.

Loudoun County Animal Control provides numerous services to communities including the investigation of animal attacks, providing emergency help to sick animals or victims of animal cruelty, investigating cases of animal cruelty, removing strays from residences and businesses, and enforcing dog license and rabies certificate laws.

Wildlife: The animal shelter does not house or care for wildlife. If orphaned wildlife is found or other wildlife assistance is needed, contact The Wildlife Rescue League of Northern Virginia hot line at 703-440-0800 or on the Web site at Loudoun County animal wardens will primarily respond to wildlife cases that pose a threat to humans or domestic animals but will not respond to reported nuisances that do not pose a real threat.

Dog Licenses: Dog licenses are required for all dogs in the county 4 months of age or older. Renewal of licenses begins each November and must be purchased by Jan. 31. New residents of Loudoun County can purchase dog licenses year round. All licenses expire Dec. 31 of every year. The licenses must be secured to collars and worn whenever the animal is off the owner's property. The price for dog licenses is $10 with the presentation of a valid rabies certificate. Licenses can be purchased at the animal shelter and the following locations:

The Office of the Treasurer

21641 Ridgetop Circle, Suite 104, Sterling.

The Office of the Treasurer

1 Harrison St., Leesburg.

Licenses can also be purchased by mail at:

Loudoun County Department of Animal Care and Control

39820 Charles Town Pike, Waterford

Failure to purchase dog licenses can result in a $250 fine and is classified as a Class IV misdemeanor.