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Animal Shelter Shines in 2013

Fairfax County Animal Shelter adoption initiatives resulted in the shelter having its most successful year yet, saving a record number of animals’ lives.

Thanks to implementation of new programs and policies, the shelter had an overall animal placement rate of 92 percent, making Fairfax County the largest municipality in the entire nation to have a placement rate above 90 percent. The placement rate measures the number of animals adopted, transferred to a rescue group and reclaimed by their owners.

More than 4,200 animals came through the shelter’s doors in 2013. There are many reasons animals end up at the shelter. Some are picked up as stray pets by Animal Control. Others are surrendered by their owners, who, for a variety of reasons, including moving, allergies, or economic hardship, must give up their pets. Finally, the shelter receives animals involved in cruelty, neglect and hoarding cases.

To find loving homes for thousands of homeless pets, the shelter worked with more than 61 rescue partners and countless volunteers and foster families. In addition, the shelter ran creative adoption promotions throughout the year which increased all adoptions and doubled dog adoptions. Other successful shelter initiatives included animal enrichment, daily play groups for dogs, weekend fostering, and off-site dog walking.

Partnerships with other organizations added community strength, as well. The “Twelve Days of Adoptables,” a partnership between the Washington Humane Society and the Fairfax County Animal Shelter resulted in adoption of nearly 300 animals between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31. Joining forces with other groups and agencies helped to spread the word about some long-term shelter residents.

Help make the Animal Shelter a better place for homeless animals in the community. Consider becoming a foster family by temporarily housing animals that may need the safe, quiet home to recover from medical treatments, illness, or simply need extra love and socialization that a private home provides.

Schedule a shelter tour for scout, school, church or community groups by emailing FCPDPetResources@fairfaxcounty.gov or by calling 703-324-0208.