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Maricopa County Animal Care and Control overcrowded

by Steve Bodinet

azfamily.com

Posted on April 26, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 27 at 1:22 AM

MESA, Ariz. -- Each day, Maricopa County's animal shelters take in around 150 stray or unwanted dogs, meaning kennels meant for one animal are packed with up to four. In the East Valley shelter in Mesa, more than 260 dogs,  80 more than usual, are awaiting new homes.  Around 40 percent of those pups are pit bulls, while chihuahuas make up many of the rest.

The county's Phillip Fecteau says the pint-size pups need a lot of exercise and attention and in spite of what some reality TV shows portray, they don't make good "purse pets." Some who may have gotten them for that reason are now dumping them and leaving shelters to search of new homes. 

Tessa Thames volunteers 30 to 40 hours each week at the shelter, walking and playing with unwanted dogs.  She's done much more than give the hard-luck hounds a few minutes of attention, having adopted two chihuahuas she fell in love with as they waited in kennels. The big-hearted dog lover couldn't stand to think of the little guys being put to death.

As Samuel Walton, 6, went from kennel to kennel looking for a new best friend, he summed up what so many already know -- stray dogs are the cutest dogs.

The cost of adopting a needy dog from the county is between $50 and $150, which includes spay or neuter surgery and a license. 

If you're looking for a new family member, there are a lot of fuzzy faces hoping you look their way.

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