The Prince William County Police Department believes that transparency is an important part of being a public agency. In addition, we want the public to understand the realities faced by the Animal Shelter and the effect that you can have on increasing adoptions and redemption rates while decreasing euthanasia through responsible pet ownership and guardianship.
We are the public, "open admission" shelter for the towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan and Quantico as well as the unincorporated areas of Prince William County. "Open admission" means we receive animals regardless of their behavior, health or level of adoptability, and that we do not turn away any animal. A lot of incoming animals are friendly, healthy and highly adoptable.
Unfortunately many more we receive are injured, sick, feral and/or aggressive and are not socialized. Like other animal shelters in Northern Virginia, end-of-life euthanasia for pets who are incurably ill is provided at owner request if the terminal condition is verified by the Shelter's independent assessment. To reduce our euthanasia rate and increase the number of lives saved, we are challenged to find ways to help unhealthy but treatable ("rehabilitable" or "manageable" if given reasonable medical, foster, behavioral, or other care; including long-term care) cats and dogs. To do so, we must have the resources to care for their needs, provide them with the training and/or medical care they need to improve and recover, and place them into waiting "forever" homes.
The Prince William County Animal Shelter’s priority is to deliver animal services to our community and animals. Although we have accomplished a great deal in recent years, we continue to strive to enhance our programs and services with the limited resources we have. There is a tremendous amount of work for us to do for the animals and we cannot do it alone. We rely heavily on our adoption and rescue partners, foster caregivers and volunteers.
In addition, we rely on the public to help us achieve our goals. The Shelter encourages you to spay and neuter your pets, help an animal in our shelter find a foster, rescue or adoptive home, provide a "forever" home to an unwanted companion animal by coming to our shelter to adopt, and volunteering your time and talent to support the Shelter.
Common Shelter Terminology
Entering refers to the number of animals coming into the animal shelter for care and housing by owner/guardian surrender, stray animals brought in by members of our community, those seized or otherwise taken into custody by our animal control officers, and transferred in from another shelter, humane society or rescue group.
Adoptions refers to animals that are adopted from the Prince William County Animal Shelter to citizens. All behaviorally and medically healthy animals are adopted from the Shelter.
Return to Owner refers to animals that have been found and reclaimed from the shelter by their owners.
Rescue refers to those animals transferred to an approved 301 ( C ) 3 or 4 animal rescue group or other shelter for rehoming.
Euthanasia Rate refers to the number of animals too aggressive or too unhealthy and untreatable for adoption that were humanely euthanized by trained staff using sedation and lethal injection following state regulations.