Adoption Process


After selecting a pet to adopt, you will fill out an adoption questionnaire-application, which gives us important information about you, where you live, and the environment in which the pet will live. Applications must be filled out in person after meeting the pet, and are processed in the order in which they are received.


We recommend you choose your pet carefully. Please review the Important Pet Adoption Considerations. After processing your application, which could take one to five days depending on the animals status, we will help you prepare for the responsibilities of pet ownership.

Visiting the Veterinarian

Within seven days from adopting your new pet, the law requires it go to the veterinarian for a physical examination and rabies vaccination if applicable. The exam is free and will help establish a relationship with your veterinarian to ensure your new pet is healthy. If the veterinarian recommends any shots or treatments, he or she will discuss them and the cost before proceeding.

State law requires all dogs and cats 4 months and older to be vaccinated against rabies. Animals that are not currently up to date on their rabies shot must be vaccinated by the veterinarian. Adopters will choose from a list of participating veterinarians who offer some low-cost services for adopted pets such as rabies vaccination and spay or neuter surgery. If you elect to pay the cost, the veterinarian can perform diagnostic tests for feline Leukemia and HIV and canine tick borne diseases.

If you live out of the area, shelter staff will take the pet to the veterinarian for spay/neuter prior to adoption. The physical exam, rabies vaccination, and diagnostic testing will be performed at that time, and the adopter will reimburse the shelter for veterinary services.


Tragically, eight million animals are euthanized in shelters across the country each year due to the tremendous pet overpopulation problem. Virginia State Law requires every pet adopted from a Shelter be spayed or neutered. An appointment date with the participating veterinarian for spaying or neutering of your new pet will be entered on the adoption contract, and you are responsible for presenting the pet to the veterinarian on that date. Failure to spay or neuter the pet will result in criminal and civil fines and repossession of the pet.

Signing the Adoption Contract

When the adoption application is approved, a time is scheduled for you to come to the Shelter, sign the adoption contract, pay the fees, and pick up the pet. You must agree to the terms of the legal binding adoption contract and sign that you will abide by all of them. If you have any questions about the terms of the contract, please ask.

  • Adoption Fee: $20 (Dogs and Cats)
  • County License: $5 for Dogs
  • Spay/Neuter Surgery: $100 - $125* for Dogs, $70 - $95* for Cats
  • Total Adoption Cost: $125 - $150* for Dogs, $90 -$115* for Cats

*Spay/neuter surgery price will vary depending on participating veterinarian choice.

Picking up Your Pet

Be sure to bring a collar and a pet carrier if you are adopting a cat or kitten, and a leash if you are adopting a puppy or dog. These items and other pet supplies may also be purchased at our Shelter Shop. Proceeds will help support the animal care programs of the Regional Animal Shelter.