Maricopa County residents looking to bring a furry family member into their homes have an opportunity to do so for free this weekend when the Bissell Pet Foundation hosts its Empty the Shelters adoption event Friday through Sunday, July 10-12.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control’s West Valley Shelter, 2500 S. 27th Ave., is among more than 160 shelters across the county participating in the program.
Shelter Manager John Reynolds said that as of Tuesday, July 7, there were 355 animals at the shelter.
“We are starting to see the usual increase after July 4th, although not as bad as previous years,” he said. “We believe that is due to most areas not having professional fireworks, which also means more people were home to take care of their pets.”
All dogs and cats over 5 months old can be adopted at no charge during the event, and dog licensing fees also will be covered, Mr. Reynolds said.
Maricopa County adoption fees typically range from $300 for puppies under 5 months to $25 to $75 for senior dogs (6 and older), and $75 to $150 for kittens to $25 for senior cats (7 and older). Licensing fees are typically $22 for spayed and neutered dogs, with a $3 discount for each license completed online; and $55 for dogs that are not spayed or neutered, with a $5 discount for each license completed online. Owners ages 65 and older receive a discounted rate of $10 per spayed or neutered dog.
Due to COVID-19 safety requirements, adoptions at the West Valley Animal Shelter are by appointment only.
To get started, residents can visit the county’s adoptable pet page, and write down the ID numbers of the pets they are interested in adopting, then schedule an appointment at mcaccappointments.as.me/adopt.
Once signed up, the adoptive family will be paired with an adoption counselor, who will meet them at the shelter at the appointed time to introduce them to their favorite dog or cat.
Shelter hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Appointments usually last 30 minutes to an hour.
For information, visit maricopa.gov/214/Adopt-a-Pet or call 602 506-7387.
Bissell Pet Foundation was founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell to help reduce the number of animals in shelters and find them loving homes. It sponsors adoption events, spay and neuter clinics and vouchers, and provides funding for microchipping.
Since May 2016, the Empty the Shelters program has facilitated adoption of 37,394 pets in 33 states and Canada, according to its website. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, 6,231 pets have been adopted through the program.