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.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Juneteenth, or Emancipation Day, commemorates the end of chattel slavery on June 19, 1865 in Galves...

Race relations expert says ‘every American’ should celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a day of celebrating for "every American, white, black or otherwise," race relations expert Daryl Davis said Wednesday.

5 hours ago

Scottsdale-based chipmaker onsemi is planning a large investment into a Czech Republic facility. (o...

Associated Press

Scottsdale-based chipmaker Onsemi to invest up to $2 billion in Czech Republic facility

The U.S. chipmaker onsemi is planning a multi-year investment of up $2 billion in its production facility in the Czech Republic.

8 hours ago

A woman was killed in an alleged domestic dispute in Tempe.  (Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police De...

Alleged domestic dispute overnight in Tempe leaves woman dead

Police officers detained two individuals in connection to a shooting in Tempe that left a woman dead, authorities said.

9 hours ago

Glendale Police identified the suspects as Ricardo Jaime Moreno, left, and Jesus Humberto Beltran A...

Serena O'Sullivan

2 suspects arrested for discharging guns in Glendale

Two suspects were arrested after discharging guns in a Glendale neighborhood on May 19, Glendale Police announced on Wednesday.

10 hours ago

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)...

Jim Sharpe

Is Biden using migrants as political pawns — in a game of checkers?

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe wonders if Biden is using migrants as political pawns -- in a game of checkers -- following recent executive action.

11 hours ago

A Silver Alert was issued for an 88-year-old man last seen Friday morning in Mesa who has dementia ...

Subject of Silver Alert from Mesa found dead almost week after disappearing

A Silver Alert subject from Mesa who had been missing for nearly a week was found dead, authorities announced Wednesday.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

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