Nonprofit helps families reluctant to surrender dogs to shelter

A Valley nonprofit is taking steps to prevent families from surrendering their pets to already overcrowded shelters....

Posted: Dec 30, 2017 4:20 PM
Updated: Dec 30, 2017 4:20 PM

A Valley nonprofit is taking steps to prevent families from surrendering their pets to already overcrowded shelters.

"This program is very unique," said Daniel Gonzalez, shelter intervention counselor with The Arizona Pet Project.

"We're only the third one in the country."

The Arizona Pet Project is a nonprofit that used to be called Friends of Animal Care and Control. The goal was to reduce shelter intake by focusing on out-of-shelter spay and neuter programs.

Gonzalez opened his office in March inside the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Center. His main job is to keep families and pets together, often providing financial assistance. He wants to help avoid these beloved dogs from ending up in the shelter.

"Maricopa County has a high need for it," he explained.

"A lot of the families I've spoken to, almost all of them don't want to surrender their pets," said Gonzalez.

He explained many of them are desperate and feel like it's their only option.

Some simply can't afford to pay for unexpected expenses.

Their dog may be sick or injured and needs treatment or the family may be moving and the new property won't allow a certain breed.

"The reasons are many. Owners may have lost their jobs or their homes, suffered an illness, or had a divorce or death in the family. Or their pet may have gotten sick and they can't pay the veterinary bills," reads the Arizona Pet Project's website.

"I actually provide pet deposits for people, financial assistance, medical assistance, temporary boarding and food assistance," Gonzalez explained.

Since March, the nonprofit has helped an estimated 500 families keep pets they love in the family and out of the shelter.

"There's still about a 20 to 25 percent rate that will still surrender, and unfortunately, a lot of those are for reasons we can't help," he explained.

Matthew Hendrick was on the verge of tears and about to surrender his mastiff Lola when Gonzalez came to the rescue.

His family was about to close on a house, adopt a child, and there were other unexpected expenses.

"She's very sick and at this point and time we just can't afford the vet bills," he explained.

Gonzalez got Hendrick and his dog into a vet appointment within the hour of making a call.

"(I feel) an immense amount of relief. This is going to mean so much to my kids and my wife," said Hendrick.

Hendrick found out Lola contracted the Parvovirus, but since visiting the vet and receiving treatment, she's doing better.

"I always feel good after situations like that, especially those when you can feel that joy and stress gone from them when they hug you," said Gonzales.

Gonzalez is not able to take phone calls from prospective clients. He said the best way to find out if you can get assistance is by stopping by the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Center's main shelter at 2500 S. 27th Avenue in Phoenix.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 578494

Reported Deaths: 9202
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion798821282
Lake43601664
Allen31380537
Hamilton27675303
St. Joseph26409369
Elkhart23873336
Vanderburgh18192211
Tippecanoe16999116
Porter14183158
Johnson14120277
Hendricks13560236
Madison10312209
Vigo10297171
Clark9952128
Monroe8933105
Delaware8638129
LaPorte8589153
Kosciusko777375
Howard7712136
Warrick624990
Hancock621995
Bartholomew616094
Floyd5971105
Wayne5811155
Grant5716108
Dubois533570
Boone523167
Morgan501485
Marshall487084
Henry483262
Cass464959
Noble453956
Dearborn443343
Jackson410145
Shelby394376
Lawrence374172
Clinton359838
Gibson348556
DeKalb333063
Montgomery329150
Knox323339
Harrison317242
Miami305043
Steuben300740
Adams291635
Ripley287145
Wabash286345
Whitley286324
Huntington278757
Putnam278046
Jasper274933
White262038
Daviess255671
Jefferson242738
Fayette239248
Decatur237382
Greene229259
Posey225626
Wells225146
LaGrange222061
Scott212837
Clay212432
Randolph204940
Jennings188635
Sullivan185831
Spencer176917
Fountain175125
Washington170216
Starke169241
Jay160521
Fulton156829
Owen155536
Carroll150115
Orange146333
Rush145618
Vermillion141633
Perry141327
Franklin139333
Parke12718
Tipton126232
Pike111325
Blackford105122
Pulaski93636
Newton87820
Brown84428
Benton83010
Crawford7229
Martin68013
Warren6427
Switzerland6035
Union6033
Ohio4547
Unassigned0372

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 807293

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin95508704
Cuyahoga80262964
Hamilton59783436
Montgomery40858396
Summit32488697
Lucas29495575
Butler29100225
Stark24048388
Warren18471135
Lorain17563207
Mahoning16430334
Lake14941134
Clermont14703103
Delaware1349574
Licking12353132
Trumbull12096297
Fairfield1184280
Greene11338132
Medina10815164
Clark10334261
Wood9742153
Allen9355126
Miami867373
Portage8628104
Richland8604111
Marion7231112
Tuscarawas6987172
Columbiana6922124
Pickaway689050
Wayne6599162
Muskingum648939
Erie5729117
Hancock529088
Ross518287
Scioto508753
Geauga469955
Darke450589
Ashtabula431467
Union422327
Mercer419485
Lawrence417051
Sandusky413262
Auglaize407059
Shelby404621
Seneca404354
Huron399738
Jefferson391565
Belmont378140
Putnam359370
Washington357039
Athens35469
Madison331128
Knox329022
Ashland322538
Fulton319043
Defiance311476
Crawford306769
Preble306434
Brown289617
Logan284828
Ottawa275534
Clinton272741
Williams265757
Highland255618
Jackson250743
Guernsey234625
Champaign233727
Fayette218929
Morrow21754
Holmes215562
Perry215317
Henry206147
Hardin200932
Coshocton194517
Van Wert193744
Wyandot186948
Gallia186226
Adams160815
Pike160116
Hocking157423
Carroll143216
Paulding137521
Noble116138
Meigs99021
Monroe93827
Harrison8428
Morgan75826
Vinton64013
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 30°
Angola
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 32°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 27°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 30°
Lima
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 27°
Light Snow Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events