Info on this page:
- Dealing with found pets
- Trap, Neuter and Release
- Donate to sites that help animals, etc.
- Why Spay and Neuter?
- Traveling with a pet
To more quickly reunite you and a lost pet, register your pet through our confidential neighborhood pet registration project. If you no longer have a pet that has been registered, please go to this form to remove the pet's listing.
Adopt a Pet
Why support questionable breeders and puppy mills when there are hundreds of sweet and loving pure and mixed-breed dogs and cats available for adoption from numerous shelters and rescue groups in the metro Phoenix area and the state of Arizona. You can make a difference.
Whether you lose a pet or find one, the suggestions for reuniting it with its family are often the same. Many people have had great luck by walking around the immediate neighborhood with the animal. Knock on doors. Call the Pet Pal, who keeps a confidential database of dogs, cats and the occasional other critter (see below). If it's registered, there's a good chance of getting it back home quickly. Call the Humane Society and the pound (Animal Control). See below for more info. You may want to post signs in the neighborhood, but remember that the City frowns on this. I believe they won't fine anyone unless there is a complaint, but to be on the safe side, be sure to remove signs promptly.
Register your pet through our neighborhood pet registration project.
Lost and Found/Stray Pets-Check ASAP!
Anyone who has lost a pet should visit the Arizona Humane Society shelter and Maricopa County Animal Control Services (the pound) to look for their pet in person. AHS shelter hours are 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. You may also call (602) 943-7402 to see if your pet's description matches that of any animal at the Shelter. The fee to pick up your lost pet varies based on the care or services your pet requires while in their care. Stray dogs that are brought into the shelter are sent to Maricopa County Rabies/Animal Control per state law. Any stray pet that is sick, injured or has identification will be held for necessary treatment or notification of the owner. The AHS Lost and Found department provides the public with information about the stray pets at the Shelter and information about helping lost or found animals. Please remember to make sure your pets have identification on at all times. Free identification tags are available at the shelter on 13th Ave. and Hatcher.
The number for Animal Control is 602.506.7387. More organizations to check out:
- Arizona Pet Finders (602)252-2727 - a non-profit organization, donations welcomed
- Missing Mutts (602)898-8914 - a non-profit organization, donations welcomed
This info was submitted by neighbor Valerie--
AAWL (Arizona Animal Welfare League) which is Arizona's oldest "No Kill" shelter doesn't take in strays. They take in dogs/cats off the euthanasia lists from the county shelters. They sometimes take appts and evaluate owned animals but there's no guarantee they will accept them. They do extensive behavior evaluations. Arizona Humane Society doesn't take in strays either just owned animals. If someone takes them a stray dog/cat and the person won't drive the animal to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, AHS takes the canine/feline down to the county within a day or two themselves.
If pets do end up at county (MC AC & C) I can find out which kennels they're in (if someone from FQ can tell me which shelter they're at) and talk to the dog rescues in town to see if anyone can pull them into their rescue group. I used to work at the main county shelter on Durango and keep in daily contact with 60 plus rescue groups. In the summer, most rescues are full since thousands of people dump their dogs/cats to move, go on vacation, etc. and adoptions are generally slower too so they may not be able to help.
Every year, 100,000 dogs/cats end up at the two main animal organizations in Maricopa County. Over 60,000 go to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (AC & C) and 40,000 arrive at the Arizona Humane Society. Both organizations work hard to keep up with the ever increasing influx of canines and felines, but resources are limited and with the continued population growth of the Phoenix metro area, things are likely to get worse before they get better. Currently, half of the 100K dogs/cats are euthanized yearly. 10,000 of those euthanized are put to death simply due to lack of space in the shelter. Shamelessplug: If you love companion pets, there are numerous rescue groups including AC & C and AHS, that would welcome whatever you have to offer: time, money, supplies like towels, blankets, dog/cat food, etc. If you have a specific breed you would love to help, just ask.
Here are some things to know before you find that next stray dog on your doorstep or running down Willetta. If you find a loose dog, the best thing to do first is contact Pat on Lynwood and see if the dog is registered on the F. Q. Story pet list. If the dog isn’t listed, then post signs in the neighborhood, call Pets 911 or get on their website to report the found animal – pets911.com or 1-888-pets911. Get a digital picture if at all possible.
If you are able to hold onto the dog at your home while you search for the owner that would be best; however, if the dog must go to the AC & C then ask to be listed immediately as the “finder adopter” of the dog. The most important thing is to ask for an “activity number” so the animal can be tracked. I can explain individually when needed or in another “animal news brief” what “finder adopter” entails as it’s a lengthy explanation.
There are several possible shelter stay timelines for an animal depending upon their health and whether they have an I.D. tag and/or microchip. If a stray comes in, the shelter worker scans the dog for a microchip. If the dog has a microchip or tags, the animal is placed on “Hold/Notify” status and the front office begins to research the info. Sadly, most dogs come in with outdated phone/address info and the info leads nowhere. These “Hold/Notifies” are held for 7 days – sometimes longer if the circumstances warrant additional time. Without a tag or microchip, the dog is only on stray status for 72 hours.
Here’s how it works for non ID’d animals: Dog comes in to shelter, the first partial 24 hour day doesn’t count. Dog stays 3 solid days as a stray. On the afternoon of the 3rd solid day the dog is evaluated to determine adoptability. Dogs that are ill or temperamental will not be placed up for adoption. (Some are sent to rescue and many are euthanized depending upon each animal’s situation.) As the finder adopter you would need to let your intentions be known to the county shelter on the 4th day. If you wait til the 5th day, the dog could already be gone. Dogs are euthanized early in the morning so you must call on the 4th day before closing. Communication with AC & C is key. They deal with 300-400 animal intakes on many days and dogs can not sit around waiting for someone to make a decision. Again, sad to say but it’s the reality of a large growing metro area. In the summer, space is at a premium and dogs can not be up for adoption endlessly. An eternity for a dog at the county shelter in the summer is 10-14 days (I’m being generous here.) In the winter they have more space and 3-6 weeks is more likely the dog’s time frame for getting out the front door as an adopted dog.
FYI - If you have been taking care (providing food/water) of an animal for 6 days, the dog/cat is now classified as yours. If you turn into the shelter, they will require a $20 owner surrender fee. Both AC & C and AHS do this to offset the costs of caring for the animal (which is MUCH more than $20 – more like $150 each.) The good part about this is the dog will now go up for adoption immediately if he/she is physically well and good tempered. If you have tried to find the owner for a week, it could be the owner isn’t looking for the dog and maybe finding Fido/Fluffy another home is the best thing that could happen. If you do choose to hold the animal for 6 days while trying to find the owner, you can now turn in the dog to AHS as an owner surrender rather than a stray.
If the animal appears sick or injured when you find him, the Arizona Humane Society should be called – 602-997-7585. They have 9 vets and are better prepared by far to deal with situations such as broken limbs. Maricopa County has only 2 vets (one at each main shelter) and doesn’t even have an x-ray room. If an injured animal is brought to county, it will either be euthanized or sent to AHS if at all possible. Sometimes kennel space and transportation problems prevent such transfers. A brand spanking new option for injured animals is to call the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) at 602-246-8280. They have just started a partnership with AAWL (Arizona Animal Welfare League – Arizona’s oldest “no kill” shelter.)
If you do locate an animal and can confine him/her, call Animal Care and Control to come out. They have a limited number of trucks/officers so it sometimes takes several hours, though not always. 602-506-PETS (7387)
Final Plea to Everyone: If you choose to find homes for dogs/cats you find, PLEASE get the animals spayed or neutered prior to releasing to adopters. There are several low cost spay/neuter programs in the valley. Sterilization is the biggest gift you can give the animals for MANY reasons. Also, always charge an adoption fee – keeps the animal abusers at bay.
If you would like more info about dog/cat rescues, spay/neuter programs, feel free to contact me and I can refer you to someone who can help – Valerie U . Highly recommend reading the Newsweek article in the “My Turn” section written by Ed Boks, former director of MC AC & C, June 27, 2005.
Why Spay and Neuter?
More than 70,000 puppies and kittens are born each day in the United States, compared to 10,000 people. That means that even if every man, woman and child in the country were to adopt an animal, there would still be an enormous surplus of animals. The estimated number of unwanted animals in the country exceeds 7.5 million. Many of these animals lead lives of misery, disease and neglect. The others are spared this torture only by being killed in animal shelters throughout the country. Ironically, the source of all this misery is very often people who supposedly care for animals. Blissfully ignorant of the consequences, owners allow their pets to breed, causing mass population explosions. By allowing their pets to have even one litter, they are sentencing these animals and their offspring to lives of misery and almost certain death.
The easiest and most effective way to correct the tragic situation is to make sure these unwanted animals do not exist in the first place. Through the spaying and neutering of our pets, this needless suffering and death can be stopped.
The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering:
The number of unwanted animals is dramatically reduced. Spayed and neutered animals are happier, healthier pets. Males fight less and do not roam as much. Because females do not go into heat, they don't have to be closed in and are less likely to develop uterine infections and mammary cancer. Shelters and communities benefit. Animal contol and welfare organizations cease being dumping grounds for unwanted animals and can return to their original purpose of providing shelter and care for animals in distress. In addition, our streets and parks will be free from stray and sometimes dangerous animals.
Please spay/neuter your pets!!
Great info about the value of TNR from MCACC via neighbor Cheryl MacGregor. Here's the story: MCACC recognizes that free-roaming cats are an issue in our community and is committed to effectively and humanely controlling the problem. We have taken a proactive stand in the way we believe feral cats should be handled and controlled.
We have over 20 years of documented proof that traditional ways of dealing with feral cats don't work. The "catch and kill" method of population control (trap a cat, bring it to a shelter, ask that the cat be euthanized), has not reduced the number of feral cats. The cat may be gone, but now there is room for another cat to move in.
By creating that hole in a neighborhood feral cat colony, it encourages fighting, spraying of territory and breeding. In addition, female cats in distressed colonies tend to produce more offspring than those in stable colonies. So, "catch and kill" actually makes the problem worse.
In examining effective programs across the country, MCACC has concluded that the most effective solution is a comprehensive program that includes:
- Community education about spay/neuter and keeping tame cats indoors
- Adoption of tame strays into new homes
- Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) to managed colonies for feral cats
Through TNR, cats are humanely trapped and sterilized. Feral, therefore unadoptable, cats are placed back into the environment in which they were living. Volunteer caretakers then provide food, water, and clean, unobtrusive shelters for the cats. Eventually, through natural attrition, the colony dies out. Any stray or tame, adoptable cats found in the colony are removed and adopted into homes.
What is the difference between a stray cat and a feral cat?
A stray cat is an un-owned animal that you see in your neighborhood that is friendly and enjoys human contact. A feral cat has had little or no human contact during its natural life.
Some people consider feral cats to be nuisances because they can exhibit behavior such as marking their territory, howling at night, fighting, and destroying property. Because feral cats are usually not spayed or neutered they reproduce at an alarming rate, which results in more cat problems and public health concerns.
Here is some more information about TNR:
Trap, Neuter, Return:
- Stabilizes the population.
- Is more effective and less expensive than attempts at extermination.
- Eliminates or reduces annoying behaviors like spraying, yowling and fighting.
- Is the humane thing to do. Anyone who suggests inhumane and/or illegal methods of cat population control will be prosecuted according to the law.
Here's the MCACC website for more info: http://www.maricopa.gov/Pets/FieldEnforcement/FeralCats.aspx
Help with TNR
AZ Cats is an organization devoted to reducing the population of unwanted, feral cats through a unique program of trapping, neutering and releasing the cats back into their own territory.
MaryJo Pitzl has this to say about the organization: It's
a super group. Its mission is to get people to treat, neuter and release
cats. This means they don't take in feral cats and they don't supply adoption
services. Their goal is to get cats fixed, so they don't reproduce, and
then return them to their old territory where they will prevent new cats
from moving in.
Two years ago, when I last used their services, the charge was $25 for each operation. AZ Cats provides traps and instructions on how to trap, and will set up the low-cost vet appointment. Then it's up to you to trap kitty(ies), bring them in, then pick them up later in the day.
It does require the individual to take some responsibility for feeding the feral, but it's a more humane solution than euthanasia and far superior to letting the cats continue to breed.
Another group that helps with stray and feral cats: Alley Cat Allies
Dog Parks in Downtown Phoenix
We have 2 dog parks within close proximity to us here in the downtown area - one at Indian School Park (Central just north of Indian School Rd.) and one at Washington Park (21st Ave just north of Maryland). For more info, see the City's Dog Park page.
If you're looking for an affordable place for you and your pet to stay while traveling, here are a few chains that accept pets.
- Best Western: 800-528-1234
Comfort Inn: 800-221-2222
Motel 6: 800-466-8356
Liberty Wildlife provides for orphan care of nestlings/fledglings or adult birds that are found and/or injured. They are funded to take in Native Arizona birds; however, no bird is ever left behind. They also help certain other Arizona wild mammals. They are a wonderful organization and are in need of help, whether it be monetary, supplies or even volunteering. You can find them on the web at: www.libertywildlife.org.
Sites that you can visit to help animals
Help Animals with a Click of Your Mouse
"Please ask ten friends to tell ten of their friends today! The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "feed an animal in need" for free. This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising. Here's the web site:
Please pass it along to people you know: http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com I have personally checked out this site and it is legitimate and also has valuable links for sites that also fund these endeavors: breast cancer detection, helping children, food for the hungry, and stopping the rain forest cutting. And you can click each site every day and make a difference in the world!
AGAIN, PLEASE ASK 10 FRIENDS TO TELL 10 FRIENDS TODAY."
This message was sent to us from Jana at Extreme Zone.
Please note: If you have problems with any of these sites (I removed one that had turned into a porn site!!!), please let the webmaster know. Don't forget to remove "nospam" from the email address.
find missing pets
Lost a pet or found a stray? Check out Pets 911, a website that maintains listings of animals in Maricopa County. The site also has pet-related info and tips.