In Maricopa County, there are over 150 animals brought into local shelters daily. The shelters euthanize a "qualified" animal after a three point inspection that takes place within 72 hours of arrival and the animal is euthanized as soon as 72 hours. A typical day involves over half of the daily intake number facing euthanasia. The daily euthanasia average ranges from 70 to the mid 100's. The three point inspection is based on health, temperament (adoptability), as well as time at shelter. The reasons can be small, such as refusing food because (s)he is afraid to having a cataract. The bottom line is...the shelters cannot support the amount of animals that are being abandoned, starved, abused, and left alone in the streets or on their doorstep. The shelters are all full and they cannot meet the demand they need too each day, resulting in the "need" for such large euthanasia rates. That can never be right.
Arizona legislation feels that their obligation is fulfilled by giving a measly 72 hours of “shelter time” to each animal. With the demand for space and care that irresponsible ownership has caused, the shelter has to follow the minimal laws. There is too little room or funding while the problem continues to grow. The issue has directed criticism to the shelter for their policies but people fail to realize that the shelters are required to follow the law. Because there is no regulation or harsh punishments there is no way to accommodate the demand. The only way to change the euthanasia rate is to create stricter laws on animal cruelty and make sure domestic pets do not continue in a cycle of abuse.
Local representatives in Maricopa County need to step forward and demand stricter laws against the individuals who are backyard breeding, not fixing their dogs and cats, abusing, fighting, and abandoning animals, and regulate the process of adopting/selling/trading domestic pets to keep violators from recycling pets and operating without licensing. We need stricter laws, dedicated enforcement, and heavier punishment regarding animal cruelty. There needs to be funding and more humane laws in the shelters; 72 hours is not enough time to know an animal in a new environment nor to find its owners (new or old). That can be done by placing heavier fines and penalties on animal abusers that create the shelters outrageously high demand.
This can only happen by creating change in our legislature and we need your help. This problem does not just belong to the volunteers; it is the responsibility of the community to bring this to the attention of our governing officials. We can speak up and let our local and state government know that we care, we want change, and we need their help!
Please if you are reading this, sign the petition and visit Maricopa County Animal Care and Control's webpage to see what else you can do to help: http://www.maricopa.gov/Pets/AboutUs/Help.aspx
I am a 21 year old pet owner, who recently moved to Phoenix. I do not have any affiliation with Phoenix animal control or any federal/state/local agencies. If you are interested in fostering or adopting, you may also visit the link below which will give guidance. They also post feed each day of the "E-list" at each shelter: