Animals that have been found by a resident must either be turned over to the Animal Shelter or a found report must be placed with the Shelter (per state law 3.2-6551).
The person finding an animal may call Police Communications at 703-792-6500, to request an Animal Control Officer come to their location and pick up the animal, or the citizen may bring the animal to the Animal Shelter at 14807 Bristow Road.
An animal is more likely to find its way back to its owner if taken to the Animal Shelter for several reasons:
- The owner of a lost animal may not call us to report that their animal is missing -- they may simply come to the Shelter and look.
- The finder of the animal may incorrectly identify the breed or sex of the animal, thus causing a non-match with a lost card we may have on file.
- The Animal Shelter is able to scan for microchips and track any tattoos the animal may have.
The law also provides that a person finding the animal may have the right of first refusal to adopt the animal if the owner does not come forward in the time allotted by law.