MCACC Pawsome Newsletter February Highlights

Field Officer Truck


Hello Subscriber,


Maricopa County is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The Animal Care and Control (MCACC) department was first established in the early 1950s with the sole purpose of managing stray animals and preventing disease outbreaks in the community. Over the years, we have drastically changed our mission and we now strive to address the pet overpopulation crisis by offering adoption services, spay/neuter programs, public education, and outreach efforts. We are one of the largest municipal open admission animal shelters in the United States. This means we have a lot to do on a daily basis and many furry homeless pets to care for.

One of our longest standing departments here at MCACC is Field Services. With over 9,200 square miles to cover, our Animal Control Officers (ACO's) and dispatch office are busy 7 days a week. On average per year, they handle 40,000 calls, and take in 10,000 dogs from 17 cities and towns including one tribal nation throughout Maricopa County.

While our Field team services most of the valley, there are a few cities that handle animal control through their designated police departments. Regardless, these cities partner with MCACC on the sheltering of pets from their communities and other services such as lost and found, medical and behavior care. 

Our eighteen ACO's, balance education with enforcement while they are working in the field. The majority of their calls pertain to loose dogs, dog bites to humans and/or other pets, leash violations, and returning lost dogs that are licensed or have a microchip to their owners.

Curious about the ACO position? Take a look at Officer Stefany Gallegos and click on the photo below.


Although MCACC does not investigate animal cruelty cases, we do work with county, municipal, state and nonprofit entities that have the authority to promptly act to save the lives of animals. If you witness or suspect animal cruelty or neglect, please see our website for the appropriate organization to contact.

While MCACC does not work directly with wildlife, it is critical that pet owners in the valley be aware of our local wildlife and the resources available to them. It is common to see wildlife in residential neighborhoods so it’s important to learn how to identify and co-exist with our wild desert friends. Visit Arizona Game and Fish for more information and resources. 


Our ACO's take their job of protecting the public and saving the lives of pets very seriously. Recently one of our Sergeants found a stray seven miles from his home that had been missing for three months. Because of the microchip, the pet was able to quickly be reunited with their owner! One of the best parts of the job is reuniting pets with their owners, no matter how far away they are or how long they have been lost.

Robyn Jaynes, DVM

 Photo left: Titan is reunited with his family in the field. 

Friday Night Fosters
We had our first Friday evening foster dog party at Petco on February 26th! This event provided a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the dogs our shelter currently has in foster homes. Dogs were accompanied by their foster families, who were happy to introduce them and answer any questions. All of the dogs received great exposure plus four dogs had a break from the shelter thanks to our day foster volunteers and our Foster Coordinator. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming events and shelter activities. Want to learn more about fostering? You can find more information on our website.

Photo right: Fosters helping to showcase a day foster pup.

  Friday Night


Happy Tails From Our Partner
We love hearing about success stories. Here’s one from a partner, Arizona Small Dog Rescue, who supported the care and transfer of over 300 dogs from MCACC last year. 

“AZSDR was at MCACC picking up a few dogs for rescue, when a terrified pup came through their front doors in a large transport bucket. Deemo, was a one-year-old pittie mix, who was scared and resisted being handled by strangers. He had hair loss all over his body and his skin was hot pink. He had his nose buried into the bottom of the transport bucket, and then he looked up at our AZSDR manager with the most piercingly beautiful blue eyes ever, and that was all she wrote!

We rescued him a few days later and immediately started treatment for Demodex (mite infection) in the comfort of a loving foster home. At first, Deemo was extremely wary of strangers and basically afraid of his own shadow. He was very defensive and essentially would snap first and ask questions later. His foster family taught him that not all people are bad and helped him learn how to love again. He continues to gain more trust and confidence every day. He was officially adopted by his foster family in May 2020, and has been re-named Rawlings. As you can see, he is loved beyond measure and is thriving in his forever home.

AZSDR is primarily a small dog rescue but when space allows, we are always willing to help others in need. In this case, it was a fearful pup with a bad case of Demodex. We are so grateful of our partnership with MCACC that allows us the opportunity to help so many dogs in need!"

Rachael R. Richard
AZSDR Operations Manager

Photos: Rawlings when he arrived at MCACC and now with his furever family. 

Teaching the Next Generation 
For the past few years, MCACC has partnered with Midwestern University to offer a learning environment for veterinary program participants. 

"The relationship with Midwestern University and MCACC has always been supportive and wonderful. Pre-pandemic, the partnership allowed veterinary students to assist with surgeries, but we had to do a shift and now we offer tours, provide flea and tick control, and booster vaccinations.  


It is extremely helpful for our students to get the hands-on experience since they are fatigued of learning virtually. MCACC has been very gracious to continue to support our program so that the students can learn first-hand about shelter medicine."

Nancy Bradley, DVM
Professor at Midwestern University 


Special Deliveries 
Thanks to a generous donation from Smart Practice, we will be able to expand the number of shelter dogs receiving a collar for their licensing tag when they get adopted. Their license tag is linked to their new family's contact information in our system, so if the dog is ever lost, they can be reunited much faster. Current licensing also qualifies lost dogs for a free ride directly home whenever possible, or a free first 24 hours of their stay at the shelter! Visit our licensing page for more information. 

Photo: Tansu, already adopted, sporting her new collar and tag.


What better way to celebrate "Love Your Pet Day" that occurred on February 20th, than tasty enrichment treats. Thanks to the generosity of everyone who helps support the shelter, we're able to show our shelter pets some love every day with enrichment items. Thank you to Four Paws and Friends and East Side Elvesfor donating wiggle-worthy enrichment for our shelter pups in February. Bronx (adopted) was so excited to see it was snack time, he couldn't hold in the wiggles! Watch here.



Thank you to Community Canine Project  for donating a whole
cart load of long-lasting enrichment items for our shelter dogs to enjoy
while they wait to find their forever homes (including these savory tracheas
our sweet Miss Nellie #A4480604 just can't seem to get enough of!)

Safe Animal Handling
This month we resumed training classes for existing volunteers to learn more about handling animals safely in a shelter environment. We have revamped the trainings to make them safer for everyone involved and provide more one-on-one guidance during the hands-on part of the class.

Our volunteer program has seen a steady increase in participation over the past few months and our pets and staff are very appreciative of their time and dedication to the shelter. 

  Animal Handling

Pet Housing

Have you ever experienced a hardship that has forced you to choose between your beloved furry family member or a place to live?

Sadly, as the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more and more people are faced with this heartbreaking decision. We couldn’t just sit by and watch that happen. So MCACC has partnered with Arizona’s leading animal welfare organizations to create the Pet Housing Help AZ Task Force to offer community-wide solutions for pet owners in need.

These efforts include increases in owned pet foster programs, surrender prevention, and collaboration with human service agencies. We've also launched a specialized website,, with bi-lingual resources, rehoming options, and a peer-to-peer temporary foster pet platform. Together, we are committed to increasing resources for those affected by COVID-19 so that pets and people can stay together at a time when they need each other the most.

Upcoming Events


Saturday, March 13
Mobile Adoption Event at Petco

Looking for a new family member? Stop by to meet some of our adoptable shelter pets at the Thomas Road Petco Store.

10 am - 1 pm
4535 E. Thomas Road
Near Costco

Photo: Rocky, #A4259490 

Wednesday, March 17 - Sunday, March 21
Change My Luck Adoption Event

Help change the luck of a shelter pup this St. Patty's Day weekend by adopting a friend with unconditional love. Thanks to the generous sponsorship from the Petco Foundation, adoption fees for large dogs over 30lbs are waived. Make your appointment now. *Does not include puppies younger than five months, Shelter Super Heroes, or small dogs under 30lbs.

Photo: Carmello, #A4526049

  Change My Luck