Contact Us

Phone: (804) 646-5573

Fax: (804) 646-5586



1600 Chamberlayne Avenue
Richmond, VA 23222


Adoption Center Hours:

Monday: Appointment-Only

Tuesday: Appointment-Only

Wednesday: 12:00PM - 6:00PM

Thursday: 12:00PM - 6:00PM

Friday: 12:00PM - 6:00PM

Saturday: 12:00PM - 5:00PM

Sunday: 12:00PM - 4:00PM


Email Contacts:

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Donate to our non-profit, RACC Foundation, to help save the lives of homeless pets in need!

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Animal Control



Richmond Animal Care & Control (RACC) is responsible for protecting the health and safety of the citizens and their pets in the City of Richmond.

Our Animal Control Officers handle a variety of situations in the City of Richmond including:

  • Investigating suspected abuse, neglect, or cruelty to animals
  • Abandoned animals
  • Injured or sick animals
  • Aggressive animals and animal fighting
  • Livestock and poultry issues
  • Animal bites
  • Various other animal-related situations that present a problem to the community

Cruelty to Animals

Cruelty to animals is a serious offense. Cruelty comes in many forms, such as an animal not having food/water/shelter, an animal being locked in a hot car, or an animal being beaten or tortured in some way.

It shall be unlawful for any person to tether a dog for more than one hour cumulatively within any 24-hour period, whether or not the tethered dog has been provided adequate space.

Tethering is prohibited

  • While the owner/custodian is absent from the property

  • During inclement, adverse, or extreme weather conditions

RACC relies on citizens in the community to report suspected acts of cruelty, neglect, or abuse. If you witness animal cruelty, neglect, or abuse, please call (804) 646-5573 and make a detailed report, including your phone number so we may get more information if needed. You can remain anonymous if you wish, but it's important you provide as much information as possible. An Animal Control Officer will be assigned to investigate all reported situations of suspected animal abuse, neglect, or cruelty.

Responsible Pet Ownership

The City of Richmond and RACC enforce laws regarding the humane treatment of companion animals and laws pertaining to the protection and well-being of citizens and pets. A few of the key regulations are listed below.

Cats and dogs four months of age and older must be vaccinated against rabies. Your pet’s rabies tag should be attached to his or her collar. A rabies vaccination must be given by a veterinarian and can be done at any animal hospital or clinic.

See the code here.

City of Richmond residents must purchase an annual license for each dog or cat they own that is four months of age or older. The cost is $10.00 for each pet. License information can be found by going to the License/Permits tab at the top of this page. The license tag should be attached to your pet’s collar. If your pet goes missing and is found by an Animal Control Officer or by an individual and is brought to an animal shelter, the license information registered with the City of Richmond will help reunite you with your pet.

In addition to licensing, we recommend you have your pet microchipped. In the event that your pet goes missing and loses its collar, your contact information will be intact via the microchip.

See the code here.

City of Richmond residents owning cats and dogs are required to have their pets spayed or neutered. This applies to pets six months of age or older. Only a breeder who has purchased a breeding permit may be excluded from enforcement of this law. The cost of a breeding permit is $200.00 per pet and is available for purchase at RACC. 

See the code here.

City residents are required to clean up waste from both cats and dogs in all public places and private property. When not disposed of properly, pet waste seeps into rivers and contaminates our drinking water.

See the code here.

Pet owners must control the behavior of their domestic, companion, wild, or exotic animals so as not to become a public nuisance.

See the code here.

The free roaming of dogs is prohibited. All dogs must be kept under restraint or confined in an enclosure. Dogs must be walked on a leash when off the owner’s property. An electric collar or other similar electronic device does not qualify as a leash, lead, or other means of physical restraint. The City of Richmond leash law does not apply to cats.

See the code here.

It shall be unlawful for the owner or any person in charge of any dog, whether licensed or unlicensed, to allow such dog to go unleashed in any City park into which it is not unlawful for such dog to enter or be taken.

  • NOTE:

    • City of Richmond – Animal-Related Ordinances: A complete list of the animal-related laws in the City of Richmond can be found here.

    • Virginia – Comprehensive Animal Laws: A complete list of the animal-related laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be found here.

Additional Resources:

Please contact the Health Department or the Animal Control agency in the city or county in which the bite has occurred. They will offer guidance on quarantine procedures and steps to ensure your safety and the safety of the animal. Animal bites in the City of Richmond should be reported to RACC at (804) 646-5573 or the City of Richmond Health Department at (804) 205-3912.

The City of Richmond permits the keeping of up to six hens in all residential districts of the City. If you are interested in keeping chickens, please check out the License/Permits tab at the top of this page for more information. Roosters are not permitted.

  • If you are experiencing a problem with nuisance wildlife, please call the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources toll-free wildlife conflict helpline at (855) 571-9003. You can visit their website for additional information about wildlife at

  • Call (804) 646-5573 to report all animal-related concerns to our Animal Control unit.

  • Please call 911 for any animal-related emergencies after hours.