Pictured: The West Valley Maricopa Animal shelter.
Photo courtesy of MCACC
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All animal intakes surrenders diverted to West Valley shelter due to infection


Tara Alatorre

WEST VALLEY – Humans aren’t the only ones being hit hard this flu season.  A recent outbreak of an upper respiratory infection has hit the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control’s East Valley shelter, with more than 30 dogs showing symptoms of the infection, and four deaths over the last two weeks.

The outbreak has caused MCACC to stop all intakes of animals at the east shelter facility, diverting all field trucks to the west valley facility. All scheduled owner surrenders, and future owner surrenders will be diverted to the west shelter, said MCACC Public Information Officer, Jose Miguel Santiago.

All animals will be vaccinated, and any animal showing upper respiratory illness signs will be immediately medicated to try and thwart the spread of the infection.  Licensing, office activities and adoptions will still take place at both locations.

“We need the general public to know any dog being treated with medication will be sent home with that medication,” said Santiago.  “These are all treatable conditions.”

MCACC is asking for the public to help clear space at both shelters by adopting or fostering animals, as the county prepares to move animals, and process all intakes at the West Valley shelter. There will be free adoptions through this weekend at both shelters, excluding puppies, kittens and select dogs.

“We desperately need help to encourage people to come out and adopt out the animals,” he said.

Anyone looking to adopt at the east location should know that they will be escorted by staff to ensure proper sanitation procedures are enforced from kennel to kennel, in order to prevent the spread of disease.  Also, all playgroups at the east location will be shut down until further notice, and all dogs there are being kept 10 feet away from another.

Although there were some reports that there was a Strep Zoo virus outbreak at the county shelter, MCACC has only one animal that tested positive for strep zoo.  However, it is still waiting for the test results of two other dogs that were recently euthanized.

The West Valley Animal Care Center is located at 2500 South 27th Avenue, south of Durango, for more information call 602-506-7387.