Animal Control

Animal Control enforces state laws and county ordinances involving domestic animals. They also handle complaints which can include abandoned animals, animal cruelty, and neglect, animal bites, spay and neuter violations, and animals running at large. Urgent animal complaints can be reported calling 911, non-urgent complaints can be reported to the center’s non-emergency number 434-263-7047.

Nelson County Code

Contact Us:

Animal Control Officers are on duty Monday-Friday 7 am to 4 pm, with the exception of some holidays.

Nelson Animal Control Shelter is located at 996 Morse Lane in Arrington Virginia.  Hours are by appointment only.  The Almost Home SPCA in Lovingston is not affiliated with the county, and does not respond to Animal Control issues.  They are, however, a great resource for the residents of the county.

Call 911 for emergencies.

Reports of lost/found animals, nuisance animals, animal cruelty, and general complaints/questions should be made to 434-263-7047.

Hazards can be reported to the non-emergency Sheriff’s number at 434-263-7050

After Hours: Animal Control Officers only respond to emergency calls after regular duty hours.  Emergencies include, but are not limited to; attacks involving animals and seriously injured animals with no known owner.


Stray dogs and cats will not be picked up after hours unless involved in an attack on another animal/person or they are severely injured.

Most dogs and cats are found close to where they belong.  We advise that if you find a stray after hours it is best to leave it alone.

By interacting with a stray, you risk exposing yourself, your family, your pets, and your belongings to many diseases and other dangers.

Do not take animals out of the county they are found in.  Animals are considered property in Virginia, and you could be charged with theft.  If you choose to take in a stray you must report it to Animal Control, or you could face legal actions.

If you find a stray, make a report to 434-263-7047 and take a picture. If possible, post pictures on local social media of the stray and the location. Do not try to handle the animal.


Cats are not required to have a license in Nelson County, and are considered free roaming.  Animal Control does not pick up or take in cats unless they are injured or ill and the owner is not known.

Nuisance Livestock

Nelson County does not have a livestock at large law.  If livestock are causing property damage, it is a civil matter.  Officers only respond if they are on a public road causing a traffic hazard.


Non-emergency wildlife issues should be reported to the Department of Wildlife Resources,

Contact Us | Virginia DWR

Dead Animals

Dead animals in the roadway should be reported to VDOT.   Report a Road Problem – Virginia Department of Transportation.  Dead animals on personal property are the responsibility of the land owner.


Community Assistance and Resources

Almost Home SPCA program Spay And Neuter (

Vet care assistance About – ACAP (

Get your dog license

Virginia Animal Laws Code of Virginia Code – Chapter 65. Comprehensive Animal Care

Local Animal Laws Chapter 3 – ANIMALS | Code of Ordinances | Nelson County, VA | Municode Library

Rabies Rabies – Epidemiology (

Adoption contract – adoption_contract

Owner surrender form – owner_surrender

Adopting a Pet

The fee for adopting a pet from the Nelson County Animal Shelter is $70.00 for dogs and $65 for cats.  This includes spay/neuter, first de-worming and first set of shots including first rabies shot.

Call 434-263-7047 for Adoption Information or stop by during business hours.

Check out our Facebook page to check for lost animals and photos of animals up for adoption.

The Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County

Located at 29 Stagebridge Road in Lovingston, the Almost Home Pet Adoption Center strives to improve animal welfare by providing care and adoption of “unwanted” companion animals through: our “no-kill” adoption center, foster care networks, satellite adoption venues, and Kitten & Puppy Rescue/Transport Programs; by funding veterinary services and education programs; and, by controlling over-population through low-cost Spay-Neuter-Vaccinate and Feral Cat Trap/Neuter/Release programs. 434-263-7722

Contact Us
Physical Address
996 Morse Lane
Arrington, VA 22922
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 336
Lovingston, VA 22949
Kevin Wright
fax: 434-263-6116
Transfer Station & Animal Shelter Directions


From Lovingston, go south on U.S. 29 for approximately 8 miles. Turn east (left) on Morse Lane (VSH 748). Go 1 mile to end of road.