Maricopa County shelters looking for foster homes for dogs as capacity is maxed out

Dec 13, 2023, 1:00 PM

side by side of dog with her babies recently taken to a shelter in Phoenix....

Maricopa County Animal Care & Control is looking for foster homes for dogs during the holiday season to alleviate shelter overcrowding.(Maricopa County Animal Care & Control photos)

(Maricopa County Animal Care & Control photos)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Animal Care & Control is looking for foster homes for dogs during the holiday season to alleviate shelter overcrowding.

The agency started its “12 Days of Foster” event on Wednesday. Residents can take a dog home through Dec. 24 and care for it through New Year’s or longer as part of the foster program.

Dog foster parents are encouraged to find their temporary pups a permanent home for the new year so they don’t have to go back to the kennels.

“Fostering is a great way to help out a dog and give them a much-needed break from our shelter. Our Turkey Tasters foster event last month helped us learn important information about our dogs, and many of them found their forever homes,” Communications Supervisor Kim Powell said in a release.

How busy are the county animal shelters?

There were 898 dogs being cared for in Maricopa County Animal Care & Control’s shelters on Wednesday. Normally, adoptions increase and intakes decrease in the fall/winter months.

When the shelters reach capacity in the summers, workers divide the kennels into two and keep one dog on the outside and the other on the inside. The dogs on the outside are cooled off with swamp coolers, fans and misting systems.

“Now, in these cooler temperatures, we are doing the opposite and trying to keep them warm — something we’ve never really had to worry about,” Powell said in a release.

“Many dogs are wearing donated sweaters to stay warm, and several huskies are in the outdoor kennels, as well.”

Here’s how to sign up to foster a dog

Anyone interested in fostering should look into what type of care they are willing and able to provide, whether it be day, overnight or medical care.

If foster volunteer requirements are met, they must fill out an online application that offers details about their home and availability.

After it’s submitted, an automatic email will be sent and the applicant will be contacted to schedule a brief orientation.

Fosters can pick up their holiday pup at the west shelter in Phoenix located at 2500 S. 27th Ave. or at the east shelter in Mesa located at 2630 W. Rio Salado Parkway.

Those that take dogs home to foster will get a wag bag with supplies to spoil the animal.

While there are walk-in foster opportunities at the west shelter, Maricopa County Animal Care & Control highly encourages scheduled appointments so it can best meet an applicants’ needs.

Maricopa County adoption special continues

There are 11 shelters in Arizona that are taking part of the Bissell Pet Foundation’s reduced fee adoption event, which runs through Dec. 17.

During Empty the Shelters – Holiday Hope, adoption fees will be $50 or less for pets.

There are three Phoenix shelters participating in the event, including the Arizona Animal Welfare League, Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care & Control.

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Maricopa County shelters looking for foster homes for dogs as capacity is maxed out