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Maricopa County animal shelter to implement new rules for surrendering animals

(Flickr/Leo Rodman)

PHOENIX — The main animal shelter for Maricopa County will soon require owners to make an appointment before surrendering their animals, due to overcrowding issues.

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelters will implement the requirement on Monday, according to spokesperson Jose Miguel Santiago.

Currently, owners can walk into one of the shelters, pay a fee and leave the dog right then and there. But Santiago said the county is starting this requirement because its animal shelters have reached capacity.

“With our capacity being at extreme levels we are no longer in a position to accept these animals without being properly prepared for them,” he said. “By creating an appointment system, not only can we make sure we have the resources available to care for these animals but we can also make sure we are not affecting the health and safety of the animals currently under our care.”

Santiago said the new program will not only help employees, but the animals as well.

“Overcrowding can lead animals to be stressed and allows the potential for illness within the shelter,” he said. “If we can keep a more manageable number, we can keep all the animals safe and as healthy as possible and find them new forever homes.”

The owners will still have to pay the $51 surrender fee, Santiago said. The program will be available at both the West and East shelter locations.

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