By Michael Campbell
It is always valuable when you have an opportunity to learn more about the needs of your community. By chance, our CEO saw a Facebook post about a blanket drive to help the local Maricopa County animal shelters. Luckily, we had some fleece blankets in the office and decided to drop them off at a local business helping with the blanket drive. Afterward, I felt it was important to learn more about animal shelters and was surprised to hear the full scope of their needs.
According to Ben Swan, Development Manager at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC), less than 6% of the funding for comes from the state. That means a heavy reliance is put on donations and grants from the community. The two main shelters often have around 700 dogs between them on any given day and nearly 30,000 dogs and cats every year. Despite an enthusiastic community, that means they are left with a consistent shortage of dog food and pet supplies.
Taking care of 700 dogs is certainly a daunting task, but understandable when I learned that MCACC operates open shelters. Open shelters will take all dogs and cats, regardless of age or medical challenge. They have also established a vibrant transportation system that allows them to provide dogs to other shelters in Arizona where they may have a better chance of being adopted.
Beyond basic day-to-day care, MCACC is dedicated to their partnerships and programs that provide valuable services for the animals in their care. Just to name a few:
The Arizona Pet Project – Provides resources and financial assistance to families to help keep pets in their homes
#LovePup – Guarantees that every animal is microchipped when they leave the shelter
Just One Dog, Just One Life – A foster program targeted for larger, overlooked dogs
These programs and so many more make MCACC a critical resources for animals in need. Along with programs, MCACC will also host events including, “Calming the Canines” in which the shelters open their doors in the evening during the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve. This allows volunteers to come comfort and play with the dogs so they are calm during the celebratory fireworks.
I came away from my conversation with Ben with a profound respect for MCACC and all the people who dedicate their time, 7 days a week, to help hundreds of animals in need. It has also contributed to our renewed dedication to being more active with local organizations so we can be the best partners possible. I encourage everyone to look into volunteer or donation opportunities at your local animal shelter because I guarantee they would love the help.
To learn more about the Maricopa County Animal Care & Control Center, click here.