Maricopa County waives dog adoption fees as shelters reach capacity

Maricopa County Animal Shelters are nearing capacity and they are waiving adoption fees to empty kennels.

  • The county had 787 animals between its two shelters as of Monday, Michael Mendel, director of animal care and control for Maricopa County, told Axios Phoenix.

What he says : “It’s as comprehensive as I’ve seen it,” says Mendel, who started as manager earlier this year.

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

  • Mendel said sometimes dogs have to stay in their kennels for days because there are more animals than volunteers to walk them.
  • This can lead to behavioral issues that can make finding accommodation even more difficult.

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

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

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

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

  • My thought bubble: As a pit bull mom I can say with confidence adopt my daughter Leia was the best decision I ever made.

Can’t adopt? Maricopa County is also looking for host families and volunteers.


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