Adoption Process & Fees

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) rescues and shelters all kinds of animals including dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, bunny rabbits, birds, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats and more. See all of our dogs, cats, and small companion animals for adoption. AWLA adopts animals to residents of Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.

Adoption Process & Requirements

Adoption Fees

The Animal Adoption Process

There are great ways to adopt your new best friend at AWLA! You can meet adoptable animals at the shelter in-person by appointment, or meet our adoptable animals in foster homes through our virtual adoptions process.

 

In-Person Adoptions by Appointment for Animals in the Shelter:

1. Make an appointment: Click here to make an appointment to visit the animals that are currently in our shelter (not in a foster home). Appointments can be booked up to 24 hours in advance. **All visitors MUST wear a mask and observe social distancing protocols at all times**. For the health and safety of our staff, we ask that interested adopters limit the number of family members they bring to their appointment. If there are no appointments available, please check back the next day. If you are more than 15 minutes late to your appointment, it will be canceled. 

2. Meet our animals: when you arrive for your appointment, you are welcome to walk through the shelter and view our adoptable animals. Staff will be on hand to assist you if you wish to meet one of our pets. Dogs will be taken outside to our yard to meet you, and cats and small companion animals can be met in their kennel.

3. Fill out an application: once you have found a pet you would like to adopt, visit our Adoptions Desk to fill out an application and go over the pet’s details with an Adoptions Team member. Once your application is approved, you will sign the adoption contract and pay your adoption fee.

4. Take your new pet home: this is the final and most exciting step! You will be able to take your new pet home the same day, so please bring a leash or carrier with you (we also have these items for sale at the shelter). We cannot hold animals for any period of time, adopters must be able to take their pet home at the time of application. 

Adoptions take place on a first-come, first-match basis and standard adoption policies apply. If you have questions, feel free to email adoptions@awla.org.

Virtual Adoptions Process for Animals in Foster Homes:

 

1. Virtual Meet & Greet: once you have found a pet you are interested in adopting, please send an email to the email address listed in their profile to arrange a initial virtual meet & greet with the pet’s foster parent or a staff member. The meet & greet does not guarantee adoption.

 

2. Fill Out Our Online Application: If, after your meet & greet, you want to apply to adopt the pet, you will be given a link to the pet’s online application. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-match basis, so we recommend filling out the application as soon as possible if you are interested in adopting. Please follow all prompts within the online application. If your application is the first received, a member of staff will call you to go over your application. If for any reason, the first applicant in line withdraws, the next applicant will be called, etc.

 

3. Sign Contracts & Pay Adoption Fee: once your application has been approved, you will be able to sign the adoption contract and pay the adoption fee online.

 

4. Take Home Your New Pet! Once you have signed the adoption contract and paid the adoption fee, you will be able to set up a time to pick up your new pet and take them home. We have a contact-free pick-up process for your safety. Please wear a mask when you arrive to take home your new pet.  

 

Adoptions will still take place on a first-come, first-match basis and standard adoption policies apply. If you have questions, feel free to email adoptions@awla.org.

 

Animal Stray Period

Virginia law requires the shelter to keep strays on the premises for at least five or up to 10 days to give owners the time to find them. You cannot adopt a stray until this period is complete.

Arlington County Dog License

If you are a resident of Arlington County and you adopt a dog that is at least four months old and vaccinated against rabies, you will be required to purchase a dog license at the time of adoption. A lifetime license is $30 and must be paid by cash or check made payable to the Treasurer of Arlington County.

Adoption Fees

Dog adoption fees:
Puppies six months and younger and dogs under 25lbs………$275
Adult dogs……………………………………………………………………..$200
Senior dogs (10 years and older)………………………………………$175

Adoption fees include:

  • A certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian. Fees for other services performed will be paid by the adopter to the veterinary hospital.
  • Spay/neuter surgery
  • A heartworm test for dogs older than four months
  • Age-appropriate vaccinations
  • A personalized I.D. tag
  • A microchip
  • A free phone consultation or $30 off any training service from Fur-Get-Me-Not
  • An information packet

Cat Adoption Fees
Kittens six months and younger……………………………….$200
Kitten pair……………………………………………………………..$300
Adult cats………………………………………………………………$125
Senior cats (10 years and older)……………………………….$100

Adoption fees include:

  • A certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian. Fees for other services performed will be paid by the adopter to the veterinary hospital.
  • Spay/neuter surgery
  • Age-appropriate vaccinations
  • A personalized I.D. tag
  • A microchip
  • An information packet

Small Companion Animal Adoption Fees:
Rabbits (spay/neuter included), ferrets, and chinchillas…………$65
Guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, gerbils, and rats………………………..$10
Finches, parakeets, doves, love birds, canaries, cockatiels……….$25
Large parrots (Quaker, ring-neck, Amazon, Macaw, etc.)………..$150+

The small companion animal adoption fee includes:

  • A certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian. Fees for other services performed will be paid by the adopter to the veterinary hospital.
  • If applicable, a certificate covering a portion of the spay/neuter surgery but not additional fees such as hospitalization, blood-work, and medications.
  • An information packet

Preventative for Dogs and Cats

AWLA now sells flea, tick, and heartworm preventative for dogs and cats at time of adoption. Please note, these preventatives are only available at time of adoption.

Dog Flea & Tick Preventative:
11-22lbs = $63
22-44lbs = $64
44-88lbs = $65

Dog Heartworm Preventative:
Up to 25lbs = $20
26-50lbs = $28
51-100lbs = $33

Cat Flea & Tick Preventative:
2.8 – 5.5lbs = $50
5.5 – 11lbs = $60