SCOTTSDALE (3TV/CBS 5) - Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) says that no one is regulating animal rescues in the state of Arizona, something many have wondered after two shelters were raided in the last few months.
In October, more than 50 dogs were found malnourished and in poor living conditions at Shelter PAWS in Mesa. Last week, 45 animals were seized from AZ Dog Adoptions after officers discovered that dogs and cats were not receiving the medical treatment they needed.
"It's a situation where if you see something you need to say something, let the authorities know, they will contact the proper agencies, they'll go in, investigate, and see if anything needs to be done," Jose Santiago with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) said.
MCACC said that a business license is all you need to open a rescue facility and there is little to no oversight.
"There are several groups, including our agency, that are looking into talking to legislators and seeing if we can form some type of governing body that will go in and regulate these types of shelters simply because of what has taken place in the past couple of weeks," Santiago said.
Luisa Chocron, who runs the Forever Loved Pet Sanctuary in Scottsdale, says it's frustrating to hear about rescues who don't put their animals' needs first.
"We really don't take in more than six to eight in this building because then it becomes too crowded and then the dogs are the ones who suffer because they're not getting the attention they need," Chocron explained. "You just really have to know what you can handle."
Forever Loved Pet Sanctuary is a local rescue for senior dogs. Each dog has their own chart, calendar, medicine bin and kennel with a couch and bed.
"We just felt it has to be organized otherwise it's just going to be complete chaos and no one's going to know who's getting fed, when they're getting fed, how much to feed them," Chocron said. "It goes so much more than just giving them a place to stay."
MCACC said a good rescue also has a go-to veterinarian.
"A lot of these shelters take in animals that maybe already have an upper respiratory infection, maybe they're suffering from things like parvo. If they don't have the proper means to care for that animal, the situation can become worse for them," Santiago said.
"We have a list of eyes, ears, heart, lungs, muscle tone, all those things and we take really detailed notes on those," Chocron said, explaining that their veterinarian checks on each dog before they can be adopted.
According to MCACC, when it comes to an animal shelter being shut down, that's up to a county judge after charges are filed.