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'We need support directly from the community': Valley animal shelters reach 'crisis' point

The county has waived adoption fees on most animals and is trying to reunite lost pets with their owners in order to lower capacity.

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Animal Care and Control say it's facing a capacity "crisis" and is asking the community to help curb the number of animals being brought to its shelters. 

Earlier this week, the county reported housing 855 animals in 755 kennels, meaning many dogs were having to share kennel space. 

To open up space at its shelters, the county's already waived adoption fees on most animals and is trying to reunite lost pets with their owners.

MCACC Director Michael Mendel said it's up to the community to help the county keep stray animals off the street.  

“We cannot address this from within the shelter system alone, we need support directly from the community where animal homelessness begins, which is why we do everything we can to partner with the community,” Mendel said in a statement.

Since July, the county's reported reuniting nearly 150 animals with their owners.

But the county's still asking residents to avoid bringing lost animals to its shelters and find other methods for reuniting pets with their owners.

"We ask that you exhaust every option prior to making an appointment to bring stray animals to shelters," the county wrote in a statement. 

The county's additionally looking for volunteers who can help in its animal shelters or residents willing to foster animals in their homes. 

More information about volunteering opportunities can be found here.

RELATED: 'Something is wrong with this whole situation': Foster dog parents frustrated with Valley organization

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