More dogs than kennels as Maricopa County struggles to find space

Sep 21, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 8:41 am

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Department is experiencing a shelter capacity crisis. The number of dogs currently outnumbers kennels with 770 dogs and only 755 kennels.

Kimberly Powell with the County Department told KTAR News 92.3 FM it has had to find creative ways to house the pups.

“Typically, dogs have an indoor portion and an outdoor portion,” Powell said. “They can go in and out as much as they want. Well right now, we’ve had to kind of close that off to double the amount of kennel space.”

She said, now, some dogs are indoors-only while others remain outside, albeit with evaporative coolers to keep them as cool as possible.

Powell said there’s been an influx of dogs due, in part, to the ongoing housing crisis, exacerbating another problem of people surrendering pets as they return to work post-COVID. In August alone, 401 pets were surrendered, compared to 172 during the same month last year. That equates to a 133% increase.

Powell said the county department is doing everything it can do get animals adopted.

“Everyday, we’re trying to find new ways to get these dogs into safe homes or rescues,” Powell said. “We do have a return to owner program that has been really successful …”

Powell said a big part of that is ensuring your dog is licensed and has a microchip.

Other county programs include waived adoption fees during certain events or for certain sized animals.

When asked why someone should consider adopting a shelter dog, Powell said, “Why shouldn’t you do this? Shelter dogs are great! They’re quirky, they have their own personalities, and by adopting them you’re saving other animals’ lives, because now we have space to put in other animals who may be in a tough situation themselves …”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

President Joe Biden speaks about the auto workers strike from the Roosevelt Room of the White House...

Brandon Gray

Several streets, parks in Valley to temporarily shut down for President Biden’s Arizona visit

Some park areas and roads around the Tempe Town Lake area will be temporarily impacted on Wednesday and Thursday in conjunction with the arrival of President Joe Biden in Arizona. 

1 hour ago

(Photo by Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Chandler increases grass removal rebate set to go into effect next month

The Chandler City Council has voted to increase its residential grass removal rebate tenfold and the change will go into effect at the start of October.

3 hours ago

Michelene Chi. (ASU Photo)...

Associated Press

University of the People founder and Arizona State professor win Yidan Prize for education work

Arizona State professor and researcher Michelene Chi, who has developed a framework to improve how students learn, is a 2023 winner of The Yidan Prize, the biggest award in education.

4 hours ago

(Photo by Matthew Baker/Getty Images)...

Bruce Springsteen postpones rest of 2023 tour, including Phoenix date, due to health issues

Bruce Springsteen has postponed the rest of his 2023 tour dates, including one in Phoenix, to continue recovery from peptic ulcer disease.

5 hours ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Gilbert opens animal cruelty investigation after dogs found needing medical care

An animal cruelty investigation is underway after dogs needing medical care were found at a Gilbert residence, authorities said Wednesday.

6 hours ago

A potentially new jaguar was photographed in southern Arizona twice earlier this year. The photogra...

Danny Shapiro

Say cheese: Rare jaguar sighting caught on camera in southern Arizona mountain range

Trail cameras have captured two rare photos of a wild jaguar in a southern Arizona mountain range earlier this year.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.


Mayo Clinic

Game on! Expert sports physicals focused on you

With tryouts quickly approaching, now is the time for parents to schedule physicals for their student-athlete. The Arizona Interscholastic Association requires that all student-athletes must have a physical exam completed before participating in team practices or competition.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.

More dogs than kennels as Maricopa County struggles to find space