Mother and son stood still in the hallway of the shelter, hugging their dog tightly and crying

Carolina and her teenage son stood in the foyer of an animal shelter in Phoenix with tears streaming down their faces. The boy clutched a black and tan dog to his chest, occasionally whispering comforting words into the soft dog’s ear. An advisor for Arizona Pet Project notice their suffering and invite them to share their stories.

After 13 years living in their house, Carolina and her family received notice that they had to move out after only 30 days. The loving mother has somehow found an affordable place to live in a fiercely competitive housing market; they even allow dogs. But with the first and last month’s rent and additional moving costs, Carolina couldn’t manage the additional pet deposit required by the new landlord.

The decision is heartbreaking: to leave a new home and risk homelessness while searching and saving to find another rental-friendly pet, or to give up Maggie, the dog her family loves.

Carolina knew she had to put a roof over her children’s heads. So, with a broken heart, she went to the same shelter she happily adopted Maggie 5 years ago. Luckily, the Arizona Pets Project was on the scene. Minutes after entering the shelter, Carolina’s heartache turned to pure joy. The The 501c3 nonprofit has offered to pay a deposit for Maggie’s pet so she can be right where she belongs: in the arms of her loving family!

Arizona Pet Project

Sadly, Carolina and Maggie’s story is not unique. Every year, countless pets are taken to shelters because of financial constraints or personal crises. Whether a family is facing poverty, housing problems or domestic violence, the Arizona Pets Project is here to provide services and resources to prevent the needless surrender of their beloved companions.

No one has to say goodbye to their pet due to an unforeseen medical event

Whether a pet is injured or a pet’s parent is diagnosed with an illness, companionship is more important than ever in a time of medical crisis. Laurie was suffering from terrible back pain when she learned that surgery was the only option for relief. As a mom to her dog Pippa for eight years, Laurie’s first concern was what would happen to Pippa during her recovery.

Faced with months of extreme pain and limited mobility, Laurie felt her only option was to relinquish ownership of the senior Schnauzer. As Laurie left Phoenix’s shelter in tears, Daniel, one of the Arizona Pet Project advisors, caught up with her. Daniel helped Laurie find care and support for Pippa so they could be together through their recovery and beyond.

Arizona Pet Project

Homelessness shouldn’t be a crime

People experiencing homelessness often face charges of petty crimes like trespassing while simply trying to survive on the streets. Such was the case for Taydra, who faced a six-month prison sentence and lost her dearest companion, Whinny. With the help of their vast network of nonprofit partners, the Arizona Pets Project placed Whinny in a wonderful boarding facility until she and Taydra could be reunited.

Arizona Pet Project

Pets also need to be protected from abuse

Like many victims of domestic violence, Sarah refuses to leave her abusive relationship without her beloved dog. She was lucky enough to find shelter at the Sojourner Center, which provides a Pet companion shelter to keep family and pets together. However, Sarah’s dog bit another resident’s dog amid the tension and chaos.

Scared of losing her puppy, Sarah contacted the Arizona Pets Project, which paid for temporary boarding. Sarah can stay at the Sojourner Center until she can find permanent pet-friendly housing.

Arizona Pet Project

Everyone wants a furry friend

The wonderful people at the Arizona Pet Project believe that everyone deserves to experience the love and joy of having a pet. That is why they are ready to help people in all different situations. Take Wanda as an example. She fell in love with a noisy shelter puppy named Baby.

Wanda wants to give Baby a wonderful home, but she needs help buying things. She contacted the Arizona Pet Project and they provided her with a crate, pee pads and nutritious puppy food to help Baby grow up strong and healthy.

Arizona Pet Project

What do the Arizona Pet Projects do?

This unique organization started in 2001 under the name Friends of Maricopa County Animal Care & Control. At the time, shelters in the Phoenix area were receiving about 105,000 dogs and cats a year and killing about 70,000. To stem the tide of homeless pets, they have become a shelter containment agency that provides free care and foster care services. With the puppy and kitten problem under control, the number of shelters drops to less than 50,000 pets per year and fewer than 9,000 pets die.

With great success, the team set out to tackle the problems faced by older pets. Surname focus on community issues and create intervention programs to keep pets safe at home. Through a combination of grants and private donations, the Arizona Pets Project uses its partnerships with various human service agencies to provide temporary boarding, pet services foster care, pet consignment, urgent veterinary care, pet food and supplies, animal control fees, etc.

Arizona Pet Project

Where to find support in your area

While there aren’t as many organizations as the Arizona Pets Project, people outside of the Phoenix area can still find help. If you or someone you know is facing the loss of a pet, see the sources in this post are from the Humane Society of America.


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