New Shelter

The Prince William County Animal Shelter needs your help. AGAIN!

A special meeting of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors will be held Tuesday, February 25, at 7:30 in the Board chambers of McCoart. All shelter supporters are urged to ATTEND or WATCH this meeting, which will have significant implications on Option C or any newly built shelter.

The board will decide if a new shelter is going to be built or if other options will be pursued. PLEASE ATTEND!

No presentation or documents have been shared with the public except the agenda linked below. CXO Martino will present ”Animal Shelter Options / Alternatives” and Public Comment Time will follow. If you are at the meeting, please speak up. If you cannot attend, use the county’s SpeakUp Prince William. You may also email the full board and Chair Wheeler at bocs@pwcgov.org.

There will be a very short window (two days) for the decision that can have lasting impacts on the shelter, its staff, the animals and community.

Help give the shelter one last push! Let’s get this project across the finish line.

Talking Points for Animal Shelter Option C – Meeting February 18

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors will hear a presentation on the animal shelter on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 2 PM in the Board Chambers of the McCoart Building, 1 County Complex Court, Prince William, VA. Supporters of Option C are encouraged to attend the meeting to speak at Public Comment (formerly Citizens’ Time). Below are some important talking points about the shelter. Can’t attend the meeting? Email the Board and Chair Wheeler at bocs@pwcgov.org.

Prince William Times Article on Shelter: Delays, cost-saving cuts to new animal shelter spark concerns 

    1. There is a desperate need for a new shelter, yet numerous delays have occurred since funding was approved in 2017.
    2. Construction costs keep rising and the size and quality of the shelter keeps decreasing with each month we do not proceed with this project.
    3. The community advocated for, and the Board of County Supervisors approved funding for, Option C, yet the County is proceeding with a shelter that no longer resembles Option C.  Square footage has decreased by 3,000, the veterinary suite has been removed, cage sizes have been reduced, quality of materials have been downgraded, natural lighting and windows have been removed, ceilings have been lowered, and community/staff areas have been eliminated, reduced or combined. These are not simple design modifications; they are significant changes that should be reviewed by the BOCS and made transparent to the citizens before proceeding with construction.
    4. All Supervisors and Chair Wheeler are urged to visit the animal shelter to see first-hand how deplorable conditions are not only for the animals but for the staff who work there and citizens who visit.  No county building is as run down and antiquated as the shelter.
    5. Delaying this project continues to negatively affect the staff’s ability to do their work, puts the animals at risk of euthanasia and deters the citizens from coming in to adopt. The county needs a modern facility and the staff deserves to work in an environment that matches the standards of all other county facilities.
    6. Prince William County should be like Loudoun County and approve additional funds to build an animal shelter that is right for our community.
    7. Prince William should not be like Stafford County, which cut their animal shelter budget so far that the facility didn’t meet the needs of the community the day it opened.  Less than two years later, it is showing signs of deterioration due to inferior building materials.  Prince William County is better and smarter than that.
    8. In the last five years, Prince William County has built two new $15 mil libraries, taking the total count to 11 in the county.  While we all love our libraries, it is perplexing how we can balk at the cost of one animal shelter, which, unlike libraries, requires specialized building materials and must meet strict standards for care.
    9. The Prince William SPCA has supported the shelter with funding and volunteer hours for 15 years.  In 2019, Prince William SPCA spent $27,000 on microchips, adoption fees, medical expenses, and other supplies that helped support shelter operations. The P.A.W. Express Mobile Adoption van exclusively showcases animals from the Prince William County Animal Shelter.  Prince William SPCA does all of this without funding from the county or national organizations.  All of our funding comes from private donations and is returned to the community in programs that increase adoptions and lower euthanasia rates at the shelter. The work we do is impactful, but it is not enough.  A new shelter, built to the specifications of Option C, is needed and long overdue.
    10. We will not build another animal shelter for 50 years, nor will we get a second chance do this right.

Supervisors and Chair Wheeler: Please support Option C and any additional funding that is required to build the right animal shelter for Prince William County.

Call for Action! – January 22, 2020

The construction for the new animal shelter has once again been delayed. Read article here. Due to the delays, costs have increased, and size and quality of the shelter is being decreased. Prince William SPCA is urging all citizens to call or email their Supervisors and ask why this project is taking so long. The community advocated for “Option C” and the Board approved funding for that option, but the specs for the shelter no longer support that option. The longer the county waits, the more will be cut from an already very “basic needs” shelter.

County taxpayers asked for, and the county funded, a modern, efficient facility in 2017. Where is that shelter and the accountability?

Please contact Chair Wheeler and your county supervisor to voice your support for the immediate focus on this project.

  • Board e-mail: bocs@pwcgov.org
  • Contact information for the Board of County Supervisors: here
  • Information on Board meetings: here

Contact Information on Board of County Supervisors

Shelter Needs Your Help, Again! – October 8, 2019

In 2014, Prince William SPCA celebrated our 10th year anniversary and kicked off an initiative to create public awareness for the need to build a new animal shelter in the county.

Throughout the past five years, our community has overwhelmingly voiced support to address the critically undersized and outdated facility built in the 1970s. We were elated when the Board of County Supervisors approved the new Prince William County Animal Shelter in 2015. We advocated  that “Option C” was an efficient yet not excessive building design. We waited patiently until the construction plan was released in Spring 2019. And now, we continue to wait as the new animal shelter is once again delayed.

The Board of County Supervisors meets on Tuesday, October 8 with Citizens’ Time scheduled on the agenda at 2:00pm and 7:30pm. Be the voice for the animals and help finally move this project across the finish line!

If you are unable to speak at Citizens’ Time, please email the Supervisors at bocs@pwcgov.org and let them know it’s time to deliver on their vote to build a new animal shelter!

Prince William Board of County Supervisors’ meeting agenda for October 8, 2019: https://eservice.pwcgov.org/…/agendas/currentagenda.pdf

Construction on New Animal Shelter Begins August 2019

On Board of County Supervisors received a status update on the new animal shelter. Public Works confirms the shelter will be “Option C” but it is now about 1000 sq. ft. smaller due to combining dedicated space into multi-use space. The project is slightly behind schedule but the County plans to make up time by doing the bid process and plan review simultaneously. Design is complete. Construction begins in August 2019. The full presentation is at 32:00.

Wonderful News! BOCS Votes to Approve $14 mil Animal Shelter

On Tuesday, September 19, 29017, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) voted 7 to 1 to approve funding Option C: New Construction for the Prince William County Animal Shelter. Prince William SPCA led three long years of advocating for a new shelter.  The community rallied behind the campaign and all the hard work finally paid off!  Thanks to everyone who emailed the BOCS, spoke at Citizens’ Time and sent in postcards to support this cause. Margaret Meade said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Well, we changed the world for thousands of companion animals! Great job Prince William County! #raiseyourpawpwc

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How We Got Here: September 2014 – September 2017

Three years! Yes, Prince William SPCA began advocating for a new animal shelter in 2014. We announced at our 10th anniversary celebration that the group’s efforts would focus on educating the community about the need for a new shelter. While there were many ups and downs, we are thrilled that on September 19, 2017, the BOCS voted “yes” to building the much-needed shelter.

September 19, 2017 – Final Vote Scheduled

On Tuesday, August 1, 2017, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors heard a presentation from county staff on several options for a new animal shelter. Based on that presentation, the Board will vote on a funding plan on September 19, 2017. The Prince William SPCA, which has been at the forefront of the advocacy campaign to build a new shelter, endorses Option C: New Construction. The organization is asking the public to join them in their support of Option C and be the voice for companion animals in the community.

September 5, 2017 – Show Your Support for a New Shelter

The final vote is expected to take place on September 19, 2017. Before that time, the Prince William SPCA is asking everyone in the community to contact the supervisors at bocs@pwcgov.org and urge them to vote for Option C. There is a board meeting on September 5th where citizens can come and speak in support of the project. We need the community to get behind this effort one more time to push it across the finish line. Animal lovers, citizens, shelter volunteers, vet offices, animal rescue organizations, pet sitters, dog trainers—it’s time to speak up. We won’t get a second chance to do this right.

August 1, 2017 – BOCS Presentation on 4 Shelter Funding Options

County staff made a presentation to the Board of County Supervisors on Tuesday, August 1 at 2 PM in the Board Chambers of the McCoart Building (1 County Complex Court). They were given four options to consider for the new shelter. The public was asked to weigh in on the options and contact their supervisors with feedback. The Prince William SPCA endorses Option C: New Construction. Review the presentation here: New Animal Shelter Presentation

May 24, 2017 – Discussion to Take Place Summer 2017

A news release was posted on the county website May 23 updating the community on the progress of the new animal shelter. County staff will bring forward animal shelter improvement options to the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) this summer, and then move forward with final architectural and engineering designs in Fiscal 2018. Read the news release here. 

February 14, 2017 –  Push Back for New Shelter

At the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) meeting, funding for the new animal shelter was briefly discussed as part of the proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP). While the new animal shelter is still in the planning and design phase, there appears to be push back from several members of the BOCS on the potential price tag to address the under-sized and outdated shelter that has been ignored for decades. The BOCS approved $1 million in funding for planning and design of a new animal shelter and allocated the debt service in the CIP for a new shelter. Despite this initial investment, and the overwhelming support for this project from the community, the BOCS may not move forward with a new, centralized animal shelter based on this recent discussion. The animal shelter is not part of the 2018 budget, but funding to move the project forward will be voted on in May/June 2017 with the CIP.

June 21, 2016 – Vote is Yes!

Thank you to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors for listening to the citizens who wanted a new shelter. They voted to fund the planning and design of the shelter and the funding for the building and operations in the 5-year plan. A huge shout out to everyone who called, emailed and visited their supervisors and for all who spoke at Citizens’ Time. We are proud to have led the charge and so very happy for the animals this new shelter will help. The work on the shelter plans should begin in the county’s FY 2017 (which began July 1, 2016). We will keep up with this process and post more information as we learn more. Thank you to everyone who helped with this successful campaign!

May 11, 2016 – Budget Passes; No Animal Shelter Vote Until June 21

Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) moved the vote on all CIP projects, including the animal shelter, to June 21st. The shelter is competing with several other projects and there is a risk of not receiving funding this year. This is too large of a problem to push off until next year or beyond, especially since it will take years to build. Keep speaking up in support of the shelter. Contact Chairman Stewart and the supervisors at to let them know that funding anything less than a new shelter is ignoring the problem that will not go away.

May 10, 2016 – Budget Vote on the Animal Shelter is May 10!

In October 2015, the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) voted unanimously for a resolution to build a new animal shelter in Prince William County. The BOCS was expected to decide how to finance the new building in December 2015. Funding options included end-of-year savings from the fiscal year 2015 budget or the BOCS could have opted to finance the project through bonds. Now seven months after the initial resolution, the BOCS is soon to complete the fiscal year 2017 budget cycle and funding for a new animal shelter is still uncertain. Please contact Chairman Stewart and the supervisors at bocs@pwcgov.org to let them know that funding for a new animal shelter needs to be a priority for the county. Thank you for being a voice for the animals!

February 28, 2016 – Shelter in Proposed 2017 Budget, BUT needs your support to stay there!

Show your support for the shelter and help keep it in the Proposed 2017 Budget (page 497 of the budget and 514 of the entire PFD file) as part of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). We need all citizens to voice their support during this critical time. The budget will be approved in April so please don’t wait!

January 30, 2016 – Our Work is Not Over! We STILL Need Your Voice!

There is plenty of work that still needs to be done to keep the shelter improvement plan moving. While the Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted unanimously in October to move forward with a new animal shelter, the funding has not been identified or approved. The budget process for 2017 is now underway and we need your voice to let them know you want the shelter included in the 2017 budget.

October 6, 2015 – New Animal Shelter for PW County!

The Prince William SPCA thanks the Prince William Board of County Supervisors for their unanimous vote to build a new animal shelter and renovate the current HVAC system. The HVAC project will begin in January 2016. The new shelter will be included in the FY2017 budget process and, if approved, expected to be completed in 2019. Read the full Inside Nova article here.

May 31, 2015 – Essay Contest Raises Awareness for Local Animal Shelters

The Prince William SPCA sponsored the 2015 Essay Contest: Why Animal Shelters are Important to Communities. Students in grades 3-12 living in Prince William County submitted essays and competed for than $1,300 in awards. The contest inspired young animal lovers to write about the importance of local animal shelters. The contest gave them a medium to express their feelings and thoughts on the topic. Many students visited a shelter, talked to shelter staff, discussed the topic with teachers or classmates, and researched the topic on line.

September 29, 2014 – PWSPCA Launches Shelter Campaign

As part of the Prince William SPCA’s 10th Anniversary in September 2014, the board announced it would begin advocating for a new shelter. “We know this will be a long and difficult journey, but it is necessary. We are the voice of companion animals in Prince William County and they need us.”

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead