Adoptions, Shelters & Licensing

ACAC Building

Volunteer Opportunities

The Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center seeks motivated volunteers to help shelter animals find new homes. Individuals must complete a ​volunteer application, meet the city’s volunteer requirements and submit to a criminal background check. Volunteers must have a clean criminal record, including not being charged or convicted of an animal-related crime. Volunteers are needed to exercise and walk dogs in the kennel, spend time with and comfort cats, participate in public adoption events, and photograph animals for display on PetFinder.

Animal LicensingPet AdoptionsLost and Found Pets

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-year, two-year, 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.

Dog or cat that has not been spayed/neutered

  • 1 Year - $10
  • 2 Year - $20
  • 3 Year - $30

Spayed/Neutered Dog

  • 1 Year - $7
  • 2 Year - $14
  • 3 Year - $21

Spayed/Neutered Cat

  • 1 Year - $5
  • 2 Year - $10
  • 3 Year - $15

PetData Inc. operates the animal licensing program for the Virginia Beach Treasurer's Office. Licenses may be obtained online, at any one of four Treasurer’s locations, and at participating veterinary offices or private agents city-wide. For additional information, call PetData toll-free at 1 (866) 923-1796 or email

Residents interested in adopting an animal are encouraged to visit the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center located at 341 S. Birdneck Road.

Animals Available for Adoption

Many of the shelter's adoptable animals are featured on the Pet​F​i​nder website. This information is updated weekly. For the most current information on adoptable animals, visit our shelter in person.

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees range from $25-$135. The final cost depends on whether the animal is a dog or cat and if the animal has been spayed/neutered. Learn more about adoption fees.​​​

Adoption Center Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday (Reclaims Only), 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

​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. Animals without a collar impounded by Animal Control are held for five days after impoundment; animals with a collar are held for 10 days. If adoptable, they are then available to new families if they have not been claimed by their rightful owner. Dogs or cats adopted from Animal Control must be sterilized. More information is available on the Virginia Beach Care and Adoption Center page. The best way to ensure the safe return of your lost pet is to have a city license on the animal. In most cases, animals wearing tags can be returned to the owner rather than being impounded.​

Page Last Updated: July 18, 2023
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