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Fairfax County "Pet Scoop"!

[ The following was reproduced from Fairfax County publication OPA 7/95, "Fairfax County Pet Scoop". See the Fairfax County, Virginia Web site for additional information on Legal Aspects of Animal Ownership, and Fairfax County Code Section 41-2-6. ]

Fairfax County requires pet owners to observe certain regulations in order to preserve the health and safety of the community:

What's Required

  • Dog owners must pick up waste deposited by their pets on others' property or public property, a so-called "pooper scooper" regulation.
  • Pet owners must have all dogs and cats four months of age or older vaccinated against rabies.
  • Dog owners must annually purchase County dog licenses for all dogs four months of age or older. They can be purchased by mail or in person, and renewed online. The cost for Fairfax county residents is $10 for all dogs. (See the Fairfax County Web site, "Dog Licenses" for more information.)
  • Owners must register dogs found by a court to be dangerous and euthanize dogs found by a court to be vicious. (See also Fairfax County Web site "Vicious and Dangerous Dogs".)
  • The County authorizes the Department of Animal Control to pick up animals other than dogs that are running at large if they are creating a public nuisance or threatening public safety or health. Dogs are prohibited from running unrestricted at all times. To retrieve a pet that has been picked up by Animal Control, owners should bring proof of rabies vaccination and, for a dog, a current dog license to the Animal Shelter at 4500 West Ox Road during business hours, which are Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. (See also Fairfax County Web site "Redeem Your Lost Pet ".)
  • Citizens shall not keep or permit to be kept any wild, exotic or vicious animal as those terms are defined in the County Code, Section 41-2-7 and 41-7-1. Wolf-dog hybrids are not allowed in the County. (See also Fairfax County Web site "Animal Control".)

Pet owners who violate these County animal regulations may, for example, incur penalties of up to $250 in fines (for the "pooper scooper" regulation) or up to a year's confinement in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500 (for violating the dangerous dog ordinance).

How to Report Violations

Citizens may report infractions of these regulations to the Fairfax County Police Department's Animal Services Division at (703) 691-2131.

Updated: 11 July 2014