Shelter pets have water again after copper theft at MCACC

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PHOENIX -- Homeless pets are the latest victims of copper theft after somebody ripped out the water pipes at the Maricopa Animal Care and Control facility.

Piping installed Tuesday

Such thefts have been a problem all over the Valley.

About 400 animals at the MCACC shelter at 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road were without water for a time Wednesday morning.

It's not known what time the theft happened, but with the pipes gone, there was no way to get water into the facility, so staff members were unable go about their morning routines.

That means, among other things, that they had no way to clean the kennels. What's more they couldn't give the cats and dogs fresh water, which is essential, especially on a hot summer day. In addition, air conditioning, which requires water to run, was down.

Aprille Hollis of MCACC said the county sprang into action to repair the pipes and get the water flowing again.

"Thank goodness for our Facilities Department because they were out here and got it up and running within 40 minutes," she said. "We were ready to call in a water truck."

It's not clear how the thieves got the piping because most of the pipes at the facility are caged. It is possible that the thieves were caught on security cameras.

"We may never know what happened," Hollis said. "It just sad because -- not only somebody stole something, sure -- but even more important, lives were potentially put at risk, which is very scary for us."