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Become a Member

The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies invites you to become a member. Membership is per calendar year (January 1 - December 31), however you can join for the current year up to July 31st.


Why Become a VFHS MEMBER?

The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies is working harder than ever on behalf of animals across the Commonwealth and we need your organization to be a part of our efforts. The Federation’s vision is to be the leading advocate for ending unnecessary euthanasia of cats and dogs and advancing animal welfare throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.


By becoming a member of the Federation today, your organization can not only take advantage of our many programs that bring important information and resources directly to you, but you will also be joining fellow animal-advocates, rescuers and care givers across Virginia to create a stronger, more cohesive voice for Virginia’s animals.

Membership Programs and Benefits:
We are excited to share with you some of our most recent programs that have made a huge positive impact on the important work you are doing. 

  • High Five Virginia - Transport and Transfer Program.

High Five is dedicated to reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals in Virginia by the transfer of animals from under-resourced and rural counties to areas where their chances of adoption are far greater. Moving animals from one location to another can result in a decrease in length of stay, a more diverse selection of animals for adopters and a decrease in euthanasia overall.

High Five VA strives to accomplish this goal by:

                - providing a closed fb group for participating organizations to network and facilitate                        transfer of animals, collaborate on urgent situations, share resources and build                              community within the VA animal welfare community.

               - providing a caseworker to network the High Five animals to potential receiving                                organizations 

               - offering financial assistance to eliminate barriers to the successful transfer of animals,                    including short term boarding, fuel, vaccinations, testing and more

  • Spay-Neuter Assistance Grants

Through the Spay Virginia Project, VFHS continues to work towards its goals of ensuring that affordable, accessible spay/neuter services are available throughout Virginia and that euthanasia of healthy or treatable cats and dogs decreases dramatically. We do this by providing grants to Federation members in varying amounts. In 2023, we provided a total of $50,000 to 40 member organizations resulting in hundreds of animals being spayed/neutered. 

  • Legislative Initiatives

As a VFHS member, you are truly helping to make Virginia a more humane place for animals by strengthening our collective voice. VFHS will be on the ground providing information and will continue to make our member’s voices heard to our lawmakers in Richmond. Your participation in the legislative process is needed now more than ever.

  • Annual Conference and Ongoing Networking & Educational Opportunities

The VFHS annual conference in 2025 is set to be held in Harrisonburg, VA on April 2-4. We will be bringing together top animal leaders from Virginia and beyond to share information and insight on topics including social media for shelters, TNR, health trends, behavioral modification and much more. New this year are specific sessions geared towards increased networking and collaboration with your fellow VFHS members so that information sharing, partnerships and networking can continue beyond the three-day conference.

Exclusive VFHS Member Benefits


  • Free monthly online Educational Trainings

  • High Five Virginia Transport and Transfer Program 

  • Opportunity for Spay-Neuter Assistance Grants

  • Complimentary copy of the current edition of the annual Virginia Animal Welfare Law Book (1 copy per organization)

  • Complimentary Job Board listings on the VFHS website and social media

  • VFHS membership badge to post on your organization's website

  • Closed Facebook & Google group to communicate with other members


Discounted Products & Services

  • Discounted registration for the VFHS Annual Conference 

  • Gleaning for the World program offering discounted food and supplies for VFHS Members

  • 10% discount on  all Tomahawk Live Trap merchandise for VFHS Members

  • 20% discount on RinseKit (portable pressurized washing equipment to wash hands, rinse animals, and clean gear all on the go)

  • 10% discount on Aces Animal Care Equipment & Services  (humane handling and capture equipment and training to those who work with animals, both domestic and wild)

  • Free week of dog training, discounts to adopters & entry to quarterly raffle for free 4-week training for a dog of your choice with  GoodPup  (virtual, positive reinforcement dog training company with the mission of keeping dogs with their families through accessible, affordable training on demand) 


The Federation offers two membership categories:


  • All non-profit animal welfare organizations, animal control agencies and organizations, and Releasing Agencies whose operations impact the Commonwealth of Virginia are eligible to be Organizational Members. 


  • To become an Organizational Member, the organization must submit an application for Membership to the Federation.  In consideration of the organization’s application or as a condition of continuing Organizational Membership, the Board, in its sole discretion, may request copies of the organization’s organizational and governing documents, adoption contracts, and other documentation, and if the organization operates an Animal Pound or Animal Shelter, the Board may require an on-site visit of the organization’s Facility by a Member or Director.  The Board shall determine whether to accept the organization as an Active Member as a group, or by delegation of authority to a sub-group or committee of the Board. 


  • Organizational Members shall comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws pertaining to the care and treatment of animals, including but not limited to those laws governing cruelty, neglect, confinement, disposition, care, sterilization, and Facility operations.


  • Organizational Members may participate in Federation programs and serve on Federation committees, and shall have voting privileges as set forth in Article III.  Each Organizational Member shall designate a delegate to attend VFHS Member meetings on its behalf, or designate a proxy to vote on their behalf.  If an Organizational Member fails to send a delegate or name a proxy, the President of the Federation shall serve as the Organizational Member’s de facto proxy.


  •  Any individual, group, organization, or business that is not eligible for Organizational Membership and that is interested in promoting and/or supporting the objectives of the Federation is eligible to become a Supporting Member. (Organizations and agencies that are eligible for Organizational Membership are not eligible to be Supporting Members.)


  • To become a Supporting member, the applicant must submit an application for Supporting Membership to the Federation.  The Board shall determine whether to accept the applicant as a group, or by delegation of authority to a sub-group or committee of the Board.  Supporting members shall comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws pertaining to care and treatment of animals, including but not limited to those laws governing cruelty, neglect, confinement, disposition, care, sterilization, and Facility operations. 


  • Supporting Members may participate in Federation programs and serve on Federation committees, but shall have no voting privileges.

All Members enjoy benefits including discounts on the cost of registration for the Annual Conference and other educational programs, and access to members-only networking opportunities. Members also receive regular updates on animal welfare legislative issues and have a voice in the issues that VFHS promotes.


Additional membership benefits are available to Active Members only and are listed below.  If you have any questions, please contact




Annual dues are $75 for Member organizations.  

In addition to the other benefits described above, Organizational Members receive one free copy of the current edition of the annual Law Book.  Organizational Members may post job listings on the VFHS website at no cost, and individuals within Member organizations may apply for scholarships from the VFHS Scholarship Fund.

Organizational Members making an initial application may also be asked to supply:

  • a copy of their current Bylaws;

  • a copy of their articles of incorporation and charter;

  • a copy of the IRS letter of determination showing non-profit status;

  • if the organization is a foster-based group, a copy of the adoption agreement.

Each Organizational Member shall elect or appoint a delegate from the organization to represent the organization at the Membership Meetings held by VFHS. 



Annual dues are $30 for Supporting Members.  

Supporting Members may participate in Federation programs and serve on Federation committees, but shall have no voting privileges.



All VFHS Members shall support the principle that animals shall be placed in good homes and will actively strive to make such placements for all animals in the organization’s care. No animal shall be adopted, sold or given away for research or experimentation or for any other purpose than as: (1) a pet; (2) a service animal for the physically challenged; or (3) a search and rescue or police animal. Animals in the care of the VFHS Members shall be provided the elements of care required by the Code of Virginia, and each animal in the member's care shall be provided the necessities to achieve the highest quality of life possible. No animal that cannot be placed in a home due to safety or health issues or that simply fails to be adopted over a prolonged period of time should be subjected to suffering from physical or psychological distress due to prolonged confinement. VFHS Members that operate shelters or foster homes shall comply with all laws governing confinement, disposition, care, mandatory sterilization, and, when applicable, regulations pertaining to the operation of a pound.

Membership: About
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