Arizona Humane Society on pace to take on 20,000 pets this year

Jul 10, 2023, 4:00 PM

Arizona Humane Society shelter crisis...

(Arizona Humane Society photo)

(Arizona Humane Society photo)

PHOENIX — Animal shelters are overcrowding at a rapid pace, according to the Arizona Humane Society.

The influx of runaway dogs during the Fourth of July weekend worsened the shelter crisis, officials said.

“The Fourth of July really put us over the edge in terms of our capacity,” Arizona Humane Society Spokesperson Kelsey Dickerson said in one of the charity’s YouTube videos.

So far, the shelter has taken on 14,000 animals this year.

“The Arizona Humane Society in just a few short days took in about 230 pets,” Dickerson said. “And 150 of those were strays.”

That leaves 80 missing dogs with families wondering where they’ve gone.

At this rate, the charity projects it will take on 20,000 pets by the end of the year. That would be the highest volume the shelter has seen in over a decade.

Trying to solve the shelter crisis

Dickerson advised pet owners who lost their dogs during the Fourth of July weekend to keep looking.

“The number one way to be able to get them back home is to make sure that you have updated microchips,” Dickerson said. “A lot of people don’t think that their pet is going to go missing until they do.”

Pet owners who want to microchip their dogs can schedule an appointment at the society’s veterinary clinics on Dobbins Road or Hatcher Road in Phoenix.

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona also offers microchips for $25 at its vaccination sites.

The implantation procedure is quick and easy. There’s no recovery time. Although many people believe microchips track their pets, that’s not the case. A microchip identifies the dog, so any pet that ends up in a shelter can be quickly reconnected with family.

“The best place for your pet to be is in their loving home and out of this already overcrowded shelters,” Dickerson said.

Free adoption event

Countless dogs need homes in the Valley, which is why the Arizona Humane Society is waiving fees for all animals at its PetSmart Scottsdale location at 4380 North Miller Road from July 10 to the 16th.

Pet owners can look for their lost dogs on the charity’s website. It displays pictures of all adoptable pets on its Adopt a Pet page.

People who want to help relieve the shelter crisis can adopt a pet, foster a pet, volunteer or donate to ease the overcrowding issue.

“We’ve been battling capacity issues really for the last few months, just seeing unprecedented numbers,” Dickerson said. “We’re already on pace to be about 28% above what we took in last year.”

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Arizona Humane Society on pace to take on 20,000 pets this year