Back to News AHS Pets in Need of Homes Immediately

Written by: Kimberly Ring
News Highlights:
  • Animal shelters across the Valley are already either at capacity, or close to it, as we enter the summer months.
  • This high influx of homeless pets is partially due to kitten season, a time of the year when rescues are flooded with litters of kittens from unaltered cats.
  • There are many ways you can help, becoming a foster hero for a pet who is temporarily separated from their owner is a great way to get involved, and another way you can help is by adopting a homeless pet from AHS.
  • According to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC), shelters being at capacity is normal for this time of the year.
  • Looking to adopt? MCACC and AHS are both hosting adoption specials to help place many of these pets in forever homes.
  • Despite rumors of pets which were adopted during COVID-19 lockdowns being returned to shelters, MCACC and AHS both say they don’t have the data to support this misleading national information.

‘Our shelter is full’: Phoenix-area cats and dogs need homes right now. Here’s how to help.

Animal shelters across metro Phoenix are at capacity or nearly full with pets needing homes.

This is typical for summer months in Arizona due in part to people finding stray dogs and bringing them in. It’s also kitten season: “the time of year, usually March until November, when shelters and rescue organizations are flooded with homeless litters from unaltered cats,” according to the Arizona Humane Society.

There are ways you can help.

The Humane Society is looking for “foster heroes” to house pets that are temporarily separated from their owners as well as people who can provide forever homes to adoptable pets.

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control is at capacity and also encouraging Valley residents to open their homes to adoptable pets. Both MCACC and AHS are offering adoption events with reduced or waived fees.

Full shelters ‘typical for this time of year’

Both county animal shelter locations are full, according to MCACC’s Facebook page. The department, which has long been plagued with capacity issues, has been approved for a “new, modern” animal shelter to replace the current one in the East Valley

Valley shelters say what’s going on now does not reflect a nationwide conversation about people surrendering pets they adopted during COVID-19 lockdowns.

“We do not have data to support that the public is returning pets that they adopted during the pandemic, which has been misleading national information,” said Monica Gery, MCACC communications officer.

“Our shelter is full because of increased intake in strays and owner surrenders, which is typical for this time of year,” she said. “We are back to pre-pandemic levels of intake and are working hard at getting pets out through our adoption, foster and other placement with our partners.”

Last year, Bretta Nelson at AHS told The Arizona Republic, “We are more times than not struggling to keep up with the numbers of animals needing our help.”

“I would say there are approximately nine months out of the year that we have to get really creative with our capacity efforts, whether that is hosting an adoption special, putting out a special plea to our Foster Heroes or reaching out to our rescue partners,” Nelson said.

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June 2, 2021