July Pawsome Newsletter

July header

Hello Subscriber,

July was a tough month! While we began the month with the initial focus of reducing intake (e.g. shelter in place, education on fourth of July pet safety, increasing license renewals to help safely get pets back home by waiving late fees, reducing RTO fees, etc.) we had to pivot and also focus on managing positive distemper cases. Through testing, we found that these pets were entering our shelters ill, and many became clinical once in our facility.

In response, we quickly scheduled daily status meetings where representatives from each area of the shelter would gather to discuss the current capacity and distemper status and strategize for the upcoming day. 

As soon as we knew we had confirmed positive cases, we reported the test results to our partners, volunteer, fosters and also posted on social media. The community generously helped with donating over $9,000 for PCR testing, which reduced the financial stress on our operations budget. This amazing support was provided to us by Follow Your Heart, One Love Pit Bull Foundation, East Side Elves and Creative Contributions. In addition, our volunteers stepped up to help clean exterior and interior kennels, wash laundry and support adoption meet and greets. Also countless people helped by sending extra enrichment treats and toys and our monthly supporters of enrichment items also sent more, helping to provide mental simulation to pets at both shelters. 

Out of an abundance of caution, at our west shelter, we began the quarantine with four exterior
buildings closed to the public and by week two, we were able to re-open two out of the four.
On August 2nd, we plan on reopening the remaining two buildings as long as we do not receive
positive tests from those areas.


Over the past month we have tested over 260 pets, including some who were already adopted and then began to show symptoms. For those cases, staff worked with the adopters to bring their pets to our shelter for testing and evaluation while they remained safely in their cars.

For safety concerns, we currently are still paused on
dog-to-dog intros with any of our shelter dogs and adoptions from the two closed buildings occur only if the potential adopter agrees to view the dog through the kennel and quarantine the dog at home until PCR testing results are available. 

On a high note, despite being over capacity and managing the distemper cases, I have been completing daily rounds with members of our leadership team, and I continue to be impressed by our staff and facilities. Our staff work hard in the heat and humidity to take care of our shelter pets, keep kennels clean and odor at the minimum. They are also dressing in PPE to clean and feed dogs in the quarantined buildings and provide daily enrichment. No easy feat with over 600 pets currently in our care.

We are very appreciative of all the extra support the community has shown throughout this difficult month.

With gratitude,

Robyn Jaynes, DVM

Photos: PCR testing.

Pet Housing


The eviction moratorium ends on July 31st, leaving many families without housing and the possibility of having to part ways with their beloved pets. We want to give families an alternative to saying goodbye to their companions: pethousinghelpaz.org

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control and the Valley’s top animal welfare organizations banded together to create the Pet Housing Help AZ Task Force to support our community’s pet parents. In addition to resources in Spanish and English, families can create a profile for their pet, and pet foster families can click through all the profiles to see which pet they can provide temporary care for. This is completely community-based, and we need your help to keep pets in homes and out of already crowded shelters. If you are willing to provide temporary housing and care to a pet in need while their family gets back on their feet, please sign up today at pethousinghelpaz.org



It’s been a very wet July here in Arizona! As monsoon season is active through September, please take extra precautions to ensure the safety of your pets by following these tips.

Keep pets indoors - Outdoor pets may run off or be harmed by flying debris and can be more prone to Valley Fever. 

Provide a safe haven with food, toys and water.

Have radio or TV on to provide sound distraction.

ID ready – make sure your pet is microchipped and wears an ID tag and collar that are updated.

Keep it positive - Address storm phobias with pets by not punishing them for showing fearful or anxious behavior. Instead, create positive associations with storms by giving treats, toys and verbal praise for appropriate behavior during a storm. 



Lost Dogs Arizona is proud to partner with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in supplying monthly donations of collars for outgoing adopted pets. A tag and collar on a pet provide instant gratification for someone that finds a lost pet and really does get a displaced pet home quickly! We are grateful for the opportunity to help in the reunification process of lost dogs to reunite them with their families and to keep more pets out of the shelter. In 2021 alone, we have supplied over 2,176 collars for Maricopa adopted pets.” Shelli Woodward, LDA board member.

Photo: An adopted dog leaving with a life-saving collar and tag. 

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See first-hand how Pet Help is supporting the community with spay and neuter clinics, vaccines and other resources. For more information on our Pet Help programs, contact our Outreach Coordinator at accpethelp@maricopa.gov



Thanks to collaboration with our partners, we were able to reduce
Return-to-Owner fees for 297 lost pets in July*. The days following July 4th were some of the busiest intake days for us since pre-pandemic. On average, 85 dogs came into the shelter daily during the week after the holiday. Generous partners stepped up to help us lower the costs for pet owners to claim their pets. As a municipal organization, we rely on fees to help provide care for the hundreds of pets at the shelter. Having a sponsor to help with reunification of pets is vital to those who have limited financial resources. To learn more about becoming a sponsor, please contact us at: accdonations@maricopa.gov

*Data from July 1-29th, includes returns at shelter and in the field. 

Photo: A happy pet parent is reunited with her dog. 



From July 7-11, MCACC participated in the quarterly nationwide “Empty the Shelters” event supported by BISSELL Pet Foundation . We had 187 dog and 19 cat adoptions, which was part of a record-breaking 5,833 adoptions throughout the five-day event! This brings the total number of pets adopted through “Empty the Shelters” to 11,000 in 2021 and almost 60,000 pets since its inception in 2016.

“We thank the shelters for the incredible job they did in helping these pets find families, and of course a heartfelt thank you to all of the people who chose adoption and gave these pets a second chance at life,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. 

The nationwide event was hosted at more than 180 shelters in 40 states across the country. “Empty the Shelters” continues to grow each year with more participating shelters helping to find homes for pets and relieve overcrowded shelters. See below for our next Bissell Pet Foundation sponsored event.

Cat collage


A Community Cat is a catch-all term often used to describe any outdoor cat that may appear to not have an owner. Many times, members of the community may act as Colony Managers ensuring that a feral cat colony is a Managed Colony (cats in these communities are usually fed, watered, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and monitored for overall health). Other times, the cats are self-reliant and can survive in the neighborhood on their own, without any direct assistance.

We have had a group of dedicated volunteers who have lovingly supported and cared for a cat colony located on our East Valley shelter property. During this past month, due to increasing safety risks of having a colony at the shelter, these volunteers were able to safety trap all but one cat. Some of the cats better suited for family life went to individual homes while others went to various rescues and sanctuaries. This was the safest and most humane option for these cats to live their best life in the years to come. We are so thankful for all the volunteers who have continued caring for these cats, even when the East Shelter was closed earlier this year, and they have been an integral part of the solution and process of rehoming.


Looking for a quirky companion that has a unique personality and irresistible underbite smile? Mateo (#A4578174) is your boy! Because he is still such a young pup, Mateo's looking for a forever person or family who is willing to help him with his development and training. His adoption comes with sponsored Mutt Manners training classes, courtesy of One Love Pit Bull Foundation, to make sure he gets off to a good start in his new home. Mateo is one of those dogs who can be a little uncertain about meeting new people, but then completely forgets about the concept of personal space once you've become friends. He's silly and fun, playful and energetic, and we know he's going to make an amazing addition to the right family! Click below to see him in action. 


Adoption Counselor


We are lucky to have an amazing group of volunteers that help us with various essential jobs throughout the shelters each day. This month we were able to bring back our Adoption Counselor positions, for seasoned volunteers that have dog handling experience and receive additional training. This position is vital in helping us review evaluation and medical notes about a pet with potential adopters, conduct meet and greets, and advise the public on responsible pet ownership. “The volunteers are essential in making the lives of the animals and the customer experience the best it can be,” said Chris Carlisle, Adoptions Supervisor.

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Visit our website.

Photo: Volunteer Jennifer (red shirt) during a meet and greet in a play yard.



Interested in donating to help our shelter pups? We're in immediate need of fleece blankets and large collars! We use blankets in all our kennels to help pets feel more comfortable, and they provide an added benefit by holding the dog's unique scent.

We also like to provide a collar for each dog to wear when they leave for their new home - both to help prevent them from getting loose, and to hold their license tag and ID just in case they get lost.

You can find both of these items on our Amazon wish list. Thank you to everyone for your support and care for our shelter pets in need!

Photo: Sinatra is available for adoption.

Upcoming Events and Holiday Hours

Click each event to view details.


August 7
Petco Puppy and Kitten Adoption Event 


August 18-22
Bissell Empty the Shelter Adoption Event


August 23-September 19 
NBC/Telemundo Clear the Shelter