Animals & Pets
Animals & Pets
Although pet licensing is coordinated through the City Treasurer's Office, most pet and animal services are provided by the Police Department's Animal Control Unit.
In addition to promoting responsible pet ownership, the unit handles lost or injured animals and protects the public from animal-related communicable diseases such as rabies.
Animal Control also enforces laws, regulations, codes and procedures concerning the care of domesticated animals and control of wild animals to ensure they are treated humanely. The division works with the local organizations to help stray or abused animals find new homes as healthy, adoptable pets or live the remainder of their lives in a safe environment.
To learn more about what to do with your animals in an emergency or disaster, visit the Emergency Preparedness page.
Encountered a Distressed Animal?
If an animal appears to be orphaned, dead, sick, injured or stranded, please report it to the appropriate authorities.
We have tips for keeping your family and pets safe from rabies and information about what to do if you're bitten.
Be a Shelter Volunteer
The Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center is seeking motivated volunteers for a variety of opportunities.
Dogs at the Beach
Make sure you and your four-legged friend have a safe and happy time on the sand by knowing the rules. Some beaches are off-limits during the summer.
Adoption Center Hours
- Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Tuesday (Reclaims Only), 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Thursday, 12 p.m.-7p.m.
- Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
City law requires that owners of dogs and cats four months or older obtain a license for the animal. Virginia Beach residents may purchase a one- two- or three-year license by applying (in writing or in person) with the City Treasurer or an appointed agent by paying the license tax and providing evidence of vaccination.
If your pet is missing, call the shelter at (757) 385-4444 and select "Option #2." In most cases, verbal descriptions are unreliable. Animal Control recommends that you visit the shelter in person if you believe your pet may be in their custody.
If an animal appears to be orphaned, dead, sick, injured or stranded, you shouldn’t approach or touch it; even a docile-looking animal can bite or scratch. The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team responds to sea turtles or marine mammals (dolphins, whales, seals, manatee), both dead and alive. Call (757) 385-7575 to report a problem with one of these animals. For all other wildlife, contact Animal Control at (757) 385-4444.