Maricopa Co Stands by its Kill Numbers

Note:  This post has been corrected.  The original incorrectly attributed the killing of Target to Maricopa Co instead of Pinal Co.

Maricopa Co Animal Care and Control in AZ is Pinal County’s neighbor to the north.  Pinal Co recently oops-killed Sgt. Terry Young’s war hero dog Target.  Now, local rescue groups are speaking out about all the needless killings in the area’s two shelters.  Maricopa Co is defending its kill numbers:

Rodrigo A. Silva is the Assistant County Manager and confirms 100 dogs die per day in the county’s two facilities.

“Animals just continue to come through our door every day,” Silva said.

He said with 55,000 dogs coming through the doors every year it’s impossible to keep any dog without tags or microchips any longer than 72 hours.

Dogs with tags are kept a minimum of five days.

“There’s just absolutely no way for us to keep animals any longer than we legally need to,” said Silva.

Dogs without ID are killed after 72 hours apparently without even being offered for adoption?  And there is “just absolutely no way” to do things any differently?  I’m glad not all shelters see things this way.

Here are the county’s stats for last month:

Total number of animals coming in to the shelter: 4,106

Total adoptions: 1,178

Animals returned to their owners: 444

Transferred to rescue groups: 648

Euthanized: 1,812 (0 healthy, 320 treatable/manageable, 1,492 untreatable/unmanageable)

Now ain’t that something?  The county kills 100 dogs a day including every dog who comes in without ID and is still at the shelter after 72 hours.  And not a single one of them killed last month was “healthy”.  In fact, the vast majority of those 100 dogs being killed every day are “untreatable/unmanageable”.  That is almost hard to believe.  I mean, what are the odds?

I wonder what category Target will fall into for the November stats because I believe she would have been considered “healthy”.  I notice they don’t break down the numbers by “Oops”.

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14 Comments

  1. Actually, Target was killed in Pinal County, which is adjacent to (south of) Maricopa County. Pinal’s kill rate is 72%. Way high. The reason that Silva breaks down the numbers this way is because Maricopa County received a Maddie’s fund grant ($6 million, I think), and this type of reporting was a requirement of that grant. I’m pretty sure that this is why Nathan Winograd is not so much a fan of Maddie’s Fund. It just enables shelters to keep killing animals and classifying them as not healthy or not adoptable.

    Reply
  2. Target wasn’t killed in Maricopa County. She was killed in adjacent-to-the-south Pinal County. The kill rate in Pinal County is 72%. The reason that Silva reports that he isn’t killing any healthy animals is that Maricopa County received a $6 million Maddie’s Fund grant, and that’s the way they require the kill numbers to be reported. That’s why Nathan Winograd is not a fan of Maddie’s Fund. After 12 years and $300 MILLION dollars, they haven’t created a single no-kill community.

    Reply
  3. When you kill a national hero/treasure, it’s not possible to justify anything about your operation.

    Reply
  4. I believe the Oops Killing would be filed under unmanageable. After many Alanon meetings I have learned to admit that my life was unmanageable…I’m so glad I wasn’t a dog, cuz I’d be dead there.

    Unmanageable depends on the Manager, untreatable depends on the vet or the care-taker. Many “shelters” don’t have staff with appropriate attitudes to handle these jobs. If they’re choosing death, the public, the rest of the staff, and the rescues have very little say in the matter.

    Can you rewrite this article with that whole “choose to kill” reality?! I found that one of the most empowering tools for dealing with the crazy-making of entrenched death. It really changed the way I see things. Thank you!

    p.s. They also don’t have a category for Owner Requested Death…that’s a really big one in our neck of the woods. Free killing. Some can’t afford to pay the $100+ fee to have their dog euthanized at a vet’s office. (Some vets won’t euthanize healthy dogs!)

    Reply
  5. Salette Andrews

     /  November 19, 2010

    I’m not sure why my previous responses aren’t showing up, but I’ll try again.

    Maricopa County did not kill Target. She was killed by the adjacent county to the south, Pinal County. The kill rate in Pinal County is over 72%. There are a lot of the usual reasons for that dismal number. The shelter is in the middle of nowhere, they don’t post pictures of found or adoptable pets, they are at PETsMART only 4 hours one day per week, etc.

    The reason that Maricopa County reports its numbers the way they do is because they were the recipient of a $6 million Maddie’s Fund grant several years ago, and that’s the way Maddie’s Fund requires reporting. That’s also why Maddie’s Fund has not created a single no-kill community after 12 years and $300 MILLION spent. Shelters can just let the animals get URIs, or find some fleas, and then kill them, and then report that they didn’t kill any healthy animals.

    Reply
  6. Don’t want to dilute the power of your message, but Target was not a victim of the MCACC. Target was killed in a neighboring county – Pinal County.

    MCACC does do some of the things needed to improve adoptions – cooperating with rescue groups by transferring some animals to them, showing off their animals at pet fairs, etc. They are the 2nd largest shelter in the nation, and believe that it is impossible to deal with such high numbers without killing. I believe that No Kill Advocacy is correct that there truly are more homes available every year than there are homeless animals needing a new home, but when management believes they are doing the best they can, that is the best they can do. Until someone new comes in with a different belief…

    Reply
  7. Maricopa County ACC takes in less animals per capita than the national average, about 13.75 dogs and cats per 1,000 human residents. The national average is just under 15. Compare that to Washoe County, NV (Reno and surrounding communities) which take in 36 dogs and cats per 1,000 animals. By comparative standards, Reno has a bigger “problem,” over two times the problem, but its animal control shelter is saving 95% of all the animals.

    Reply
    • Nathan Winograd’s point about the statistics is fascinating – I have believed for years that MCACC should do much better, but did believe that they were facing a larger problem than most ACC’s.

      I’ve also wondered for several years why Maddie’s Fund kept funding MCACC when the kill ratio has stayed so high.

      Reply
    • Roger

       /  April 6, 2011

      The population for Maricopa County in 2009 was 4,023,132. 33% of that number are renters. Renters may not always be able to be pet owners. That leaves 2,695,499 potential pet owners. These numbers have likely increased.
      http://www.city-data.com/county/Maricopa_County-AZ.html The MCACC official stated they take in 55,000 animals per year. It certainly would seem there are plenty of homes for these animals. I guess the challenge is reaching those 2M potential pet owners.

      Reply
  8. Maricopa County. When we lived in Arizona, we adopted a cat who had been plucked off of death row in Maricopa County by the kind folks at Maine Coon Rescue.

    Xavier and Broken Claw

    Don’t forget the cats.

    Reply
  9. The Pinal County worker who actually killed Target has been fired, but I’m wondering whether the animal control will ever explain how killing a young healthy dog that has only been housed there a short time is possible.

    http://www.620ktar.com/category/local-news-articles/20101119/AZ-county-employee-fired-for-euthanizing-wrong-dog/#

    Reply
  10. mary frances

     /  November 20, 2010

    What’s it going to take for this madness to stop –

    Target had been on Oprah (the footage was shown nationally) – her death was reported all over the media – CBS – Katie Couric, Inside Edition (I personally saw the broadcasts) –

    It was reported Oprah sent her sympathy to the family –

    I’d love to see Nathan Winograd on Oprah….

    Reply
  11. Kathleen

     /  April 6, 2011

    What are they suppose to do with 150 new animals a day? where are they suppose to put them all? rescues can only take so many.

    its the backyard breeders you should be going after. people need to spay and neuter their pets!

    and sorry to say but if every stray that came in without id was euthanized after 72 hours without going up for adoption how are there pets for adoption that came in as strays???

    also put id on your pet!!

    Reply

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