Frequently Asked Questions
Is Friends part of the Shelter?
Friends is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is not a part of the Fairfax County government. However, Friends staff use an office inside the same building as the Shelter.
What is the relationship between Friends and the Shelter?
Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fundraising partner that supports programs and needs at the Shelter that otherwise would not be provided.
How does the money raised get used?
Friends uses donations and contributions for various shelter programs. Some of these programs include medical, dental, parasite prevention, community cat spay and neuter, and senior pet programs. Learn more on our Programs We Fund page.
Can I sponsor a pet’s adoption fee?
Friends offered a program to do so in the past, but did not find that it directly benefited the Shelter pets (such as reduced time waiting to get adopted). Instead, we have created the Spotlight Program.
What is the Spotlight Program?
The Spotlight Program is a way to indicate or spread the word about a great pet you feel is being overlooked, through a tax-deductible donation, to potential adopters. Visit our Spotlight a Pet page for more information.
How can I get more involved in raising money for Friends?
Visit our Programs We Fund page to learn about our various giving programs and how you or your business can donate.
What payment method(s) do accept if I want to make a donation?
For online donations, Friends accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. For donations received by mail, we accept personal checks. Cash is accepted for donations made in person.
Is there a fee for using a credit card?
Yes. Friends gives supporters the option of adding three percent to the total transaction amount to help cover imposed payment processing fees.
Do you take donations other than cash?
On a case-by-case basis, we accept in-kind donations from local businesses. Additionally, at some of our events, we hold silent auctions, for which we accept donations of products/services/experiences.
How else can I help Friends raise money?
You can select Friends as the charitable recipient from AmazonSmile. Visit AmazonSmile and choose Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter as your charity of choice.
Where is the Shelter’s Wish List located?
The Shelter’s Wish List is located on amazon.com.
Is the Friends audited on an annual basis, and if so, where do I obtain/view a copy of the report?
To reduce our expenses and to ensure that more funds are reserved for Shelter pets, Friends adopted the guidelines for audits as outlined in the Federal Charitable Campaign guidelines in 2019. Friends does a full audit every three years. Although we don’t perform an audit every year, our financial activity is reviewed by an independent accounting firm and they prepare our financial reports on a monthly basis. The financial reports are also shared with the Shelter Director.
A copy of our most recent annual statement, along with past statements, may be found on our website under Annual Reports. Additionally, a copy of our financial statement is available upon written request to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Office of Consumer Affairs. You can also request copies of our 990 filings from the IRS.