AZ Humane Society asks Scottsdale cop to pay $700 to adopt puppy she rescued

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

UPDATE! Scottsdale cop adopts puppy she rescued, anonymous donor helped with fees

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- “I just kind of grew attached to them…they’re adorable.”

Scottsdale police officer Stacie Gryzenia was the hero four puppies needed just a week and a half ago, after rescuing them from the back of a truck. And even after she was off the clock, she knew her job wasn’t over.

“I knew I wanted to adopt one of the puppies, one of the black labs,” said Gryzenia.

She’d spoken with the Arizona Humane Society about it, waiting for the puppies to become healthy enough for adoption. She got the call this week, but the pup came with a price she wasn’t expecting, since she was the one who rescued them.

“I called them, talked to them,and they told me it was going to be $700 per puppy. There was no way that $700 was in my budget,” said Gryzenia.

We spoke to the Humane Society Thursday who said that price is correct, and is that high to pay for medical costs, spay and neutering and other shelter fees.

But in an email to us Thursday night, they said Officer Gryzenia didn’t give any indication she was upset about the price.

“I told them immediately that I could not do the $700. I asked why it was $700 and they told me puppies are desirable,” said Gryzenia.

“I explained to them that I was the officer that saved them, that brought these puppies to them to help, and I’m getting no movement, no budging on the price at all. “

And Gryzenia, with tears in her eyes, told us she expected a much different outcome.

“I was getting ready to have another dog and to make him my own and to help him along, and now I just don’t get to do that,” said Gryzenia. 

After we asked a spokesperson with the Arizona Humane Society about the cost, they said they would be in contact with Gryzenia on Friday morning to discuss lowering the price.

Statement from the Arizona Humane Society

We want to take this opportunity to help our community better understand the structure of our adoption fees. 

Our adoption fees start at $50. For some dogs, they’re much higher. This helps cover a portion of the cost of care of the 17,000 sick and injured pets who come through our doors each year. We do this, also, to encourage adoption of our older dogs, who once would spend days or weeks in kennels, while puppies are adopted immediately.

Our average cost to care for a homeless pet has risen to $910, nearly tripling over the past four years due to an expansion of our medical programs. Our donors, supporters, volunteers and adopters make this care possible and we thank them. We are also thankful to Good Samaritans, like Officer Gryzenia, as their efforts are critical in helping to bring sick, injured and abused pets to AHS’ trauma hospital for the care they need. Of the 17,000 pets who come through our doors each year, 70 percent require treatment in our trauma hospital. 

These puppies, who were very sick, are the norm in regards to the homeless animals we treat. Joey was so sick that his medical care while at AHS was nearly $1,200, roughly $300 more than the average cost to care for each pet we take in and we are able to do so at a fraction of the cost of a private veterinary hospital. Joey’s care included 10 days of treatment in AHS’ trauma hospital, Parvo testing, Giardia testing, fecal testing, treatment for Giardia, treatment for Coccidia, food, shelter, neuter surgery, vaccines and a microchip.

A generous benefactor covered a portion of the adoption fee for Officer Gryzenia. We are grateful for both the donor and the officer.

We welcome folks to schedule a behind-the-scenes tour to see our lifesaving work in action.

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