County shelter makes changes in the way people turn in animals

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The county shelter is making some changes in its intake system that will help keep the shelter animals healthy and safe, and will help keep the shelter population under control. 

Starting Monday, October 16,  Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) will require those surrendering a dog to make an appointment before bringing in the animal.

Currently, people may walk in and pay the owner surrender fee and leave the dog right then and there. 

At any given point, the County animal shelters can house more than 1,000 animals.

Staffers say this can create an environment where animals are exposed to possible illness, placed in even more stressful situations and at times become increasingly more aggressive. All of these factors can make animals appear to be unadoptable which keeps them longer within the shelter system.

Under the new policy, MCACC will accept up to ten owner surrenders per day, by appointment only, with most appointments made within two weeks of the date of the request.

Field officers will continue to patrol the streets looking for stray and injured animals. Also, anyone who comes in contact with a stray or injured animal may bring it into the shelter without an appointment.

Folks looking to participate in the Managed Admissions program will still be required to pay the owner surrender fee of $51 upon the surrender of the animal. Prior to returning on their scheduled appointment time, a list of alternative options will be made available to include names and addresses of other shelters, spay/neuter clinics and vaccination options.

This program will be in place at both the West shelter location, located at 2500 S 27th Avenue in Phoenix, as well as the East shelter location at 2630 W Rio Salado Parkway in Mesa. 

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