Adoptions Process

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington adopts pets to residents of Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.

Meet & Greet

  • Once you have found a pet you are interested in adopting, please follow the instructions in each pet’s profile to arrange a meet & greet with the pet’s foster parent or a staff member.
  • In-person or virtual appointments for in-shelter pets are available every hour from 12-6 pm on weekdays and 12-4 pm on weekends (except Tuesdays).
  • Appointments become available 24 hours in advance. We only book appointments one day in advance. If you do not see any available appointments, please check back!
  • For in-person appointments:
    • All visitors must wear a mask at all times and observe social distancing.
    • Each meet & greet appointment is limited to 30 minutes.
    • Application reviews will be conducted after the meet & greet if the adopter would like to move forward.
    • All animals will be required to go home the same day and are processed on a first-come, first-match basis.
  • For virtual appointments for in-shelter pets:
    • A Zoom video chat link will be emailed to you a few minutes before your appointment.
  • Virtual appointments for in-foster pets are scheduled by the foster parent, typically within 24-48 hours.
  • The meet & greet does not guarantee adoption.

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-matched 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 to review your application. If for any reason the first applicant in line withdraws, the next applicant will be called, etc.

Sign Contracts & Pay Adoption Fee

  • Once your application has been approved, you will sign the adoption contract and pay the adoption fee online.

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.
  • For your safety, we have a contact-free pick-up process.
  • Please wear a mask when you arrive to take home your new pet.

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

See All Animals