Jul 12, 2022 - News

Maricopa County waives dog adoption fees as shelters reach capacity

Dogs in Maricopa County animal shelters 🐕
Data: Maricopa County Animal Care and Control; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Maricopa County animal shelters are near capacity and they're waiving adoption fees to clear out the kennels.

  • The county had 787 animals between its two shelters on Monday, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control director Michael Mendel tells Axios Phoenix.

What he's saying: "This is as full as I've seen it," says Mendel, who started as the director earlier this year.

Why it matters: When the shelters are full, animals receive less exercise and sometimes have to double up in kennels.

  • Mendel said sometimes dogs have to stay in their kennels for days at a time because there are more animals than volunteers to walk them.
  • This can lead to behavioral issues that can make it even harder to find homes.

Driving the news: Bissell Pet Foundation is covering the fees for all dogs adopted from the county shelter through the end of July.

  • Adoption fees typically range from $25 to $300.

By the numbers: Dogs spent an average of 30 days in the shelter, according to our analysis of county data from late June.

Details: Pit bulls make up more than 40% of all dogs in the county shelters.

  • My thought bubble: As a pit bull mama, I can confidently say adopting my Leia girl was the best decision I ever made.

Can't adopt? Maricopa County is also looking for fosters and volunteers.

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