Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter (Friends) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Fairfax County, Virginia. Since 2006, Friends has partnered with the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in its efforts to help lost and abandoned animals in our community.

How We Help

Each year, more than 5,000 domestic animals make their way to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. Some are strays, and other surrendered by their owners or confiscated by the county due to neglect or mistreatment.

With so many animals coming through its doors and a limited budget, the shelter has to make tough decisions about how it can provide for each animal. In some cases, this means that otherwise adoptable animals might not have a second chance if expensive medical treatments or special needs costs exceed the county budget.

This is where the Friends steps in. We raise awareness — and money — to help improve the quality of life for hundreds of loving local shelter pets.

In partnership with generous donors like you, Friends is able to:

  • Provide emergency medical treatment
  • Purchase much needed equipment and supplies
  • Support the foster program by providing food, specialty supplies and other items to help loving families temporarily care for animals in their homes
  • Fund additional training for shelter staff
  • Assist with efforts to spay and neuter animals in our community
  • Support special adoption events at the shelter
  • Promote and support humane trap–neuter–return (TNR) efforts to manage community cat populations
  • Support pet and human victims in domestic abuse situations by providing funding to the county’s Pet Haven Program
  • Provide behavioral training, grooming and medical care to increase the adoptability of special needs shelter animals

With your help, we can continue to do wonderful things for these loving animals.

Did You Know?

Over 90% of FFCAS dollars went to directly support the homeless animals at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in 2014 and 2015, and we’re continuing our great track record in 2017. Our 2015 Annual Report and Reviewed Financial Statements are available here.


Our Mission

By supporting Friends, you help us in our mission to:

  • Provide additional resources and aid to our local animal shelter
  • Promote the adoption of homeless dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and reptiles in Fairfax County
  • Educate the community on the importance of spaying and neutering pets

Our Vision

In addition to providing support to individual shelter animals in need, we hope to:

  • Extend our reach to help a broader number of animals
  • Expand our involvement in Fairfax County’s TNR program
  • Help fund projects related to the shelter remodeling
  • Find ways to further spay-and-neuter efforts in Fairfax County including low-cost options

Our Board of Directors

Evelyn Grieve, President
Evelyn is one of the founding members of the FFCAS. She was approached by her longtime friend Dr. Karen Diviney to be a part of this important cause. Evelyn has a tremendous love and respect for animals and has adopted several special needs Airedale terriers. She and her husband Bill adopted Eddie, a Cairn terrier mix who came to the shelter in need of emergency surgery several years ago. He’s fully recovered and has become a great addition to their family. Evelyn and Bill have always cared for cats, dogs, ducks, hamsters, parrots, rabbits, turtles and frogs. Evelyn has a degree in information technology and works in the department of human resources for Fairfax County.

Mary O’Malley, Vice President
Mary O’Malley started volunteering at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter after retiring from a career in information technology management in 2001. She works with all kinds of animals at the shelter, but she has a particular interest in the rabbits at the shelter and is often found cuddling one, or trimming his/her nails. Mary has also served on the boards of several other animal–related clubs and charities, and is currently also serving as the Secretary of the Irish Wolfhound Foundation. In her professional life, she’s a photographer, specializing in pets. Mary also functions as one of the shelter’s in–house photographers. She’s married to John, and they share their home with Irish Wolfhounds, a houserabbit and an African Grey parrot.

Jami Ojala, Acting Treasurer
Jami joined the board in August 2011, and has been a volunteer at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter since 2002. Jami interacts with all kinds of animals at the shelter, but devotes most of her time to the dogs and cats. In her work life, she is a financial professional for a venture capital firm. Rick Ojala is Jami’s better half, and their lives are brightened by two kitties adopted from the shelter over the years.

Karen Diviney, Ex Officio Member
Karen Diviney is an original founding member of the FFCAS. She worked in human resources for Fairfax County for almost 25 years, and in 2012, she retired after 8 years of serving as the director of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. Karen and her husband Wayne currently share their home with animals she’s rescued over the years including a cat named Lucifer and an African grey parrot.

Rita Altman, Member
Rita is a longtime shelter volunteer and helped with several FFCAS fundraising events even before joining the Board in 2011. Before retiring, Rita worked in special education in both Vienna and the California school systems. She lives with her wonderful husband and four rescued animals. Her five grandchildren are a constant source of delight.

Jill Westeyn, Secretary


Interested in starting your own Friends of group? Here are some tips to get you started.

FFCAS is a private organization, independent of the Fairfax County government. A copy of our financial statement is available upon written request to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Office of Consumer Affairs.