Essay Animal Control

715 Words 3 Pages
The Maricopa County animal control has evolved over the last century and the best way to understand animal control is to look at it through history.
During the first quarter of the 20th Century, Maricopa County communities were rural and sparsely populated. Dogs and cats were valued for what they contributed to this rural lifestyle. Dogs were working dogs earning their keep on a local ranch or farm, or they were used for hunting to help put food on the table. Some dogs, as well as cats, were used as mousers to help keep small rodents out of the homes and barns. All dogs were permitted to run at large.
During the third decade of the 20th Century, fee roaming dogs resulted in a dog overpopulation problem, and with it came an
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They found their way out of the barnyard workforce and into our hearts, our homes and for many families, into our beds. Pets were no longer considered staff; they were part of the family. The animal control program did not keep pace with this societal change and we continued to implement catch and kill methodologies right up to the last decade of the 20th Century.
During the 70’s the dog population explosion and the related threat of rabies, cities and towns entered into a contract with Maricopa County to “get these unlicensed dogs off the streets”. These contracts only dealt with the immediate tactical need and little thought was given to any long-range strategic solutions. There was no thought given as to what to do with the animals once they were removed from the streets.
The current “catch and kill” shelters were built in the early 70’s to warehouse dogs and cats until they could be “disposed of”. The two shelters are a reflection of the “catch and kill” mentality that has guided the program for so many years.
In recognizing the great value people place on their pets, Animal Care and Control Services (ACCS) developed the most successful municipal pet adoption program in the United States, adopting out more dogs and cats than any organization public or private in the State of Arizona. The aggressive spay/neuter program, began in 1992, and has resulted in a 50% decrease in the communities’ euthanasia rate. The…