Phoenix Pound Pups Get a New Lease on Life

Posted on June 19th, 2011 by Trish Roman-Aquilino

“It makes me too sad to go to the pound.”

“If I go to the pound, I will be so overwhelmed by all the animals needing homes that I won’t be able to choose just one.”

These concerns, and many similar ones, are often expressed by individuals when you suggest they adopt a pet from the county shelter here in Phoenix.  I have heard it said over and over again, and I know how they feel.  It can be a sad, overwhelming experience to visit our county shelters and try to pick out a pet.

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (“MCACC”) is trying to address those impediments to adopting a “pound” pet with two new offsite adoption centers.

On February 12, 2011, MCACC launched a unique partnership with PetSmart, in Scottsdale, Arizona, that will hopefully be the foundation for similar partnerships around the country.

MCACC opened its first offsite adoption center located in PetSmart store, in the Old Town Scottsdale PetSmart located on Miller Road.  The adoption center can hold up to 44 dogs, and 16 cats, and is expected to save up to 1300 animals per year.  It has an area for potential adopters to “meet and greet” animals and a play area for the dogs.  The county animals selected for the cheerfully designed location will stay there, and will not be shuttled back and forth between the shelter and the store.

On February 26, 2011, MCACC, with the help of PetSmart Charities, launched its second offsite adoption center, in the Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix, called Under One Woof, in a vacant storefront inside the mall.  Metrocenter offered the space free of charge to MCACC.

“Our experience with our in-store adoption centers proves that satellite locations provide great visibility for shelter pets and expose them to new potential adopters,” said Susana Della Maddalena, Vice President and Executive Director, PetSmart Charities, Inc. “The mall location will provide Maricopa County Animal Care and Control the opportunity to showcase their adoptable pets to mall visitors and save more lives through adoption,” she added.

Under One Woof has 30 kennels, six retail display areas, a “meet and greet” area, a play area for the dogs, and will also offer onsite licensing for pets.  Like the location in Old Town Scottsdale, the animals will stay on location and not be shuttled between the shelter and store.   MCACC is hoping to adopt at least 20 animals each week from this location.

Both of these unique partnerships for MCACC address a long-standing concern for our shelters – getting exposure for homeless pets in a way that makes the adoption process a positive experience and less overwhelming, thereby assisting in creating better opportunities for  successful adoption matches for the animals.

Dr. Rodrigo Silva, Assistant County Manager, said that the partnership is a great opportunity. “Any time we can get the homeless animals in front of the community, good things happen,” he said. “I am sure that many adoptions will result from this new opportunity.”

Under One Woof – 9617 N. Metro Parkway, Suite 1116, Phoenix, AZ.

MCACC Adoption Center, Old Town Scottsdale PetSmart store, 4380 N. Miller Road, Scottsdale, AZ.