Maricopa County Animal Care and Control is adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by adopting national guidelines to protect the health and safety of its staff, the animals in its care, and the community.
To that end, the shelter is reducing shelter intake and some services and redirecting its field officers to urgent calls to offset the short and long-term effects of the outbreak. The guidelines, which take effect Saturday, March 21 at both facilities, mean the shelter will continue to offer certain services, such as:
- return to owner (picking up lost animals)
- stray dog intake
- stray dog and cat bite quarantine
but will temporarily suspend in-person services at the shelters, including:
- owned-dog surrenders
- cat intakes
- and microchipping.
The shelter’s field officers are focusing on high priority and emergency calls, such as bite complaints, dangerous and aggressive dog complaints and police/fire assistance cases. Less urgent calls will be deferred until further notice.
The shelter is asking residents who find stray or lost dog to bring the dogs to the shelter by appointment only or to try and find the owners on their own. The shelter also encourages people who have found strays to log onto the shelter’s Lost and Found site at lost to help the dog reconnect with the owner.
Pets typically stay close to home when they go missing, so this helps get pets home much more quickly.
Residents are encouraged to license their dogs online at license. Those who use online services for licensing receive a discount.
All these efforts are intended to help prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19, and save animal lives by reducing the shelter’s overall animal population. These temporary measures also prepare the shelters for possible widespread community outbreaks of the virus in the event that this kind of transmission continues to grow.
As always, donations and support are greatly appreciated. Please visit donate for more information.