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Animal Adoption Process and Requirements
Adoption Process
  1. We encourage visitors to view animals online before coming to the shelter. We are also available to answer questions about available animals via email or phone, 703-777-0406. Adoptions at LCAS are on a first come, first adopt basis. We are unable to take holds or payments for pets prior to the adopter's arrival and completion of steps 2-5.
  2. Visit with the animals. An adoption counselor will assist you in making your selection.
  3. Submit an adoption application and a non-refundable adoption hold deposit. Applications are only accepted in person at the Animal Shelter or the mobile adoption vehicle. Applications cannot be accepted via fax or email. View and print the application here. (Please note that LCAS does not ship animals.)
  4. The application will be reviewed and you will be notified if any additional information is needed. Animals may go home the same day that an application is submitted. To expedite your application, view our adoption requirements below.
  5. Finalize your adoption contract. This may take place at the same time as you submit your application if no additional information is required. If additional information is needed an appointment will be made for you to finalize your contract. 
  6. Pick up your new pet! Please be sure to come prepared for you new pet - bring a collar and a leash for your dog, a cat carrier for your cat, a small cage or carrier for your small animal.  You may purchase temporary, cardboard carriers for $4 at the front counter.  

Remember that even though we take the best possible care of animals at our shelter, we do not always know their prior medical history or vaccination status. We perform basic health checkups, but do not have veterinarians on staff. We will pass along any medical/vaccine information that we have about the animal, whether from the previous owner or from the animal's time at the shelter. It is very important to take advantage of the free health checkup offered by our participating veterinarians as soon as possible after adoption. The office visit is free, but the veterinarian may recommend vaccinations and other care that you may wish to consider.

Adoption Requirements
  • Adopters must be 18 years old with valid photo ID
  • Adopters must not have a history of ordinance violations, losing, giving away, selling, or having animals injured or killed by moving vehicles.
  • Adopters must provide proof of compliance with all applicable laws/regulations in their county of residence (e.g., Virginia residents must prove that their cats & dogs have rabies vaccinations and their dogs have licenses).
  • All adults in the household are encouraged to visit with their new pet prior to adoption.
  • Any application for a pet that will be kept outside or inside/outside may require a home inspection.
  • Declawed cats may not be kept as outdoor or indoor/outdoor animals.
  • If you do not own your home, plan to speak with your landlord and ensure pets are permitted in your home.
  • You must meet any applicable special needs requirements for the animal.

View and print the adoption application here.  Please note that applications are only accepted in person at the Animal Shelter or on the mobile adoption vehicle. Applications cannot be accepted by fax or email.

For questions or more information about adopting a cat or small animal, please contact the Department of Animal Services at 703-777-0406 or via email.

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