Animal Services FAQs
Animal Services FAQs
How do I reach the Animal Services department?
Please note that Animal Services Officers can respond only to those cases occurring within the City of Alexandria. Residents of surrounding jurisdictions should call the animal control unit for their jurisdiction. To report an incident that needs the attention of Animal Services, such as a dog bite, dog running loose, an animal in distress, or possible case of animal cruelty or neglect, please call 703-746-4774 or 703-746-4444. Animal Services’ regular hours are
Monday through Friday: 7 AM to 8 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 8 AM to 5 PM
Animal Services dispatch is available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10AM to 8PM and Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9AM to 5PM. To report an animal control incident after hours, please call the Alexandria Police Department dispatcher at 703-746-4444.
What if there is an after-hours emergency?
Outside of regular business hours, an Animal Services Officer is “on-call” and will respond to health-and-safety-related emergencies only. Citizens may request assistance from the animal control officer by calling the Alexandria Police Department dispatcher at 703-838-4444.
What services do Animal Services provide for the City of Alexandria?
- Enforcement of city and state laws dealing with domestic animals
- Investigation of dog bites and attacks to humans and domestic animals
- Emergency response to sick or seriously injured domestic animals, vicious domestic animals, reports of severe animal cruelty, possibly rabid animals, or possible human or domestic animal exposure to wildlife when rabies is a concern
- Investigation of animal cruelty
- Removal of stray dogs from streets and public areas
- Pick up of stray dogs from residences and businesses
- Regulation and inspection of kennels – commercial and private
- Dog license enforcement
- Rabies vaccination enforcement
A neighbor’s dog barks nonstop. Will Animal Services help?
Animal Services would come out to verify the complaint, and to make sure the pet is not in a possibly harmful situation. There are fines for noisy animals in the City of Alexandria.
Squirrels are in my attic. Will animal control remove them or rent me a trap to remove them?
Animal Services does not deal with pests or wildlife that does not pose a threat to humans; however, humane wildlife control agencies can help resolve these situations. The AWLA does rent humane traps to the public, but only for the purpose of trapping stray or feral cats for Trap-Neuter-Return. Learn more Animal Services’ response to wildlife.
Stray cats come in and out of the sewer, and I am concerned for their well-being. Will animal control take them to the shelter?
There are no laws against cats running at large, and the cats that the public see coming and going in their neighborhoods are generally feral or wild cats. These cats have learned to adapt to their surroundings, and have sharp survival skills. They are not domestic pets and can be fractious when handled by humans. Learn more about the TNR program and the resources made available by the AWLA.
A fox has been seen in my neighborhood during the day. He is missing a lot of hair. Is he rabid?
Fox are indigenous to Northern Virginia, and have adjusted to being suburban wildlife. They have a higher chance of carrying mange than most other wildlife, and they will scratch until their coat is almost completely gone. This is not a pretty sight, but is common. They are not a threat to citizens unless cornered and feel they need to defend themselves or their pups. Foxes are also opportunist and scavengers, and will search for food during the day or night. We recommend that if a resident sees a fox, he or she should simply leave the animal alone.
My neighbor’s dog is always outside. I worry that he may not have adequate shelter/food/water. What should I do?
If you ever feel an animal is being neglected or cruelly treated, the best thing to do is to call Animal Services so that an officer can go out and check the animal. The officer will ask for a street address and a description of the animal in question. Citizens may remain anonymous when filing complaints. An officer would inspect the premises to validate the complaint, and speak with the owner in hopes of improving the animal’s living situation.
A dog or cat bit my child. What should I do?
First, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. If it is a serious bite (and does not stop bleeding after 15 minutes) or if it is a cat bite, contact your doctor. Next, you should report it immediately to animal control, or after hours to the Alexandria police department, so an officer can respond if you need assistance. If the animal is still running loose, it is even more important to contact our department, so that we may confine the animal for quarantine reasons and to locate an owner to verify vaccines. Virginia state law states that all bites must be reported to the local health department and/ or Animal Services.