Shelters at full capacity on International Dog Day. Here’s how to adopt


The number of pets in animal shelters across the country, including Maricopa County, has increased significantly this summer. Now shelters have more dogs than kennels to support incoming rescues.

Counting the two shelters the county operates, about 766 animals were in their possession in July, with that number now exceeding 824. Kimberley Powell, communications manager for Maricopa County, said the shelters had only 755 dog kennels and 80 cat cages.

The county operates the West Valley Animal Care Center off 27th Avenue and Durango and the East Valley Animal Care Center off Rio Salado Parkway and the 101 Loop. These sites are open seven days a week from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays and from noon to 5 p.m. on weekends.

“We’re still in the summer season which is usually at critical capacity, but a big reason we’re seeing more dogs being brought to the shelter is because of the high cost of living here in Arizona,” she explains.

Pet owners may feel like they have no choice but to abandon their pets due to rising rent and food prices and other economic hardships.

Jackson, the dog of sportswriter Jason Wolf, is an aggressive hugger.

Powell said if you’re in a position where you may need to return a pet, there are resources available.

“We are determined that pets can stay with their owners. When they come to this difficult decision, we try to work with them to connect them to resources and anything that we can do as an animal shelter to help them,” she said. “We also have a return to owner program.”

The average length of stay of an animal at the shelter is approximately 23 days at the West shelter and more than 40 days at the East shelter. Over 90 dogs from this shelter have been there for over 60 days now.

This is a stark contrast to previous averages of just nine days.

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The problem with animals that stay for long periods of time is that their behavior could escalate.

Those looking to adopt a pet can visit the County Animal Control and Welfare site to see the names and photos of dogs and cats awaiting adoption.

To speed up the adoption process, there is a pre-screening program that allows potential new pet owners to reserve a dog or cat that may not yet be adoptable.

Adoption fees vary depending on the size and age of the dog or cat, ranging from $25 to $300. Adoption fees include neutering or neutering, various vaccinations for cats and dogs, and flea and tick treatment.

However, currently, for all pets over five months old, the fee is only $25 and $150 for kittens and puppies.

Do you have a question you need an answer to? Contact the reporter at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @raphaeldelag.

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