HSLC Animal Intake Policy

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Our animals come from various circumstances and places. We receive animals as transfers from Kill Shelters and other Rescues, strays, owner surrenders and through our Trap-Neuter-Return Program for community cats and kittens.

Rescues from High Kill Shelters

Our first priority for saving animals is always to save them from being euthanized in high kill shelters, usually from counties in southern Virginia. We will always give the highest priority for animal intake to dogs and cats that are about to be killed in shelters.

We also work with our local rescue partners when they ask for help placing an animal. In turn, we may ask them for help occasionally when a situation is urgent and we don’t have a place for the animal.


Many of our adult cats are found as strays while doing TNR in community cat (feral) colonies. Sometimes they are lost, sometimes they were dumped, and sometimes they are left behind when the family moved. We make every effort to find their owners, but when we can’t, we provide any needed medical care before putting them up for adoption.

Stray dogs should be handled by Loudoun County Animal Services, 703-777-0406.


Kittens are found year round in community cat colonies. If we can trap them before they become too old to socialize (usually about 10-12 weeks old), we put them into foster homes. The foster will work with the kittens to socialize them and get them ready for adoption. Once they receive their first round of vaccinations they are usually ready for adoption.

Owner Surrenders

Animal Admission is at the discretion of HSLC

We work with the pet owners to try and keep the animal in the home whenever possible, but sometimes it just isn’t possible to keep the animal in their current home. Admission into our care is based on the animal’s health, behavior, and adoptability. Animals are only admitted when we have space and/or a foster home available. We make no guarantee about being able to accept any animal.

When taking an animal as an owner surrender, we ask that the animal be up-to-date on vaccinations. If the animal is not, we ask the owner to get the vaccinations updated before we accept the animal. We also ask for a $50 donation for each animal surrendered, to help defray costs.

If we do accept your animal, you are required to complete and sign an Owner Surrender Form. This includes questions about the personality of the pet, including whether the animal gets along with dogs, cats, etc. We ask that the person completing the form be completely honest about the pet’s personality, in order to help us get the animal adopted into the right fur-ever home.

Animal Return Policy

Animals previously adopted from HSLC will be admitted under any circumstances. There is no time limit on our return policy.

For information about surrendering a pet, or for help keeping the pet in the home, contact us at helpanimals@humaneloudoun.org