pet news

september 23, 2015

MCACC begins Adoption Ambassador program

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There are approximately 1,000 animals at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) shelters and the agency is eager to place them into loving homes. MCACC will be participating in the ASPCA’s (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Adoption Ambassadors program. Due to the past success of the program in several states, MCACC is hopeful that the Adoption Ambassadors will also make a difference at its shelters.

This program and its volunteers help pets find homes by allowing dogs to escape the stress of shelter life until they are adopted, while simultaneously creating more space in the shelters. Using social media and word of mouth, adoption ambassadors will be in charge of marketing their dogs and handling adoption paperwork on site. An Adoption Ambassador is someone who is committed to finding their foster dog a loving family and understands that the dog will be in their care for an average of 3-4 weeks.

According to the ASPCA, Adoption Ambassador programs have shown that a dog adopted through this program has a significantly lower return rate to the shelter, as the Ambassador is able to provide much more information about the dog to its adopters. Ambassadors also have the ability to reach new adopters that have never considered adopting from a shelter, or have previously bought dogs from pet stores.

While MCACC’s regular foster care program focuses on finding homes for underage puppies and kittens, the Adoption Ambassador program aims to help dogs that find life difficult at the shelters. Seniors, big and small dogs, dogs with medical issues or special needs, high energy or scared/anxious dogs are the types of animals who will be candidates for this program.

If participating in the Adoption Ambassador program is not a viable option for you, donating supplies such as dog food, toys, litter or even the “Adopt Me” vests the dogs will wear is another great way for someone to contribute to this wonderful program. Donations can be brought to any MCACC Animal Care location during regular business hours.

MCACC is currently seeking committed volunteers interested in becoming Adoption Ambassadors. A special Adoption Ambassador foster orientation is scheduled for Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. – Noon at MCACC’s West Valley Animal Care Center located at 2500 S. 27th Avenue in Phoenix.


september 23, 2015

Chain stores you probably didn't know allowed pets

For many pet lovers, bringing a furry friend along on a shopping trip would be the perfect way to spend a day. While many big-name chain stores do have a "service dogs only" policy, you may be surprised to know that a number of them will in fact allow you to shop with your Shih-Tzu or browse with your bulldog.

Please keep in mind that many of these stores only welcome pets on a limited basis. In some cases, the decision to allow pets is left to individual store managers. This means that while one chain location may welcome your pooch, another may have a no-pets policy. In other cases, a stand-alone chain location may allow pets, while a mall location may have to comply with that mall's no-pets policy.

Rules and policies change all the time from store to store and from location to location. It's important to contact any store you plan to visit with your pet to ensure that they will in fact allow him in - even if you have brought him into that store before.

Out of respect to the establishment and its patrons, any time your pet visits a store he should be leashed and under your control at all times. Some stores ask that pets ride in shopping carts and be kept securely and tightly leashed, and some ask that they be contained in a carrier. Make sure you are aware of the store's specific policies before visiting.

Department Stores

Several department store chains around the country have been known to welcome pets. Banana Republic is notably dog friendly, with some locations offering treats to canine visitors. The Gap and Old Navy, which are owned by the same company as Banana Republic, have also been known to allow dogs. Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, TJ Maxx and Marshall's allow dogs in at least some of their locations, and Nordstrom has welcomed pooches through its doors for over 20 years. Bed Bath and Beyond goes above and beyond at some of its locations by not only allowing pets, but providing specialty dog carts for them to ride in.

Pet Stores

Perhaps not surprisingly, both Petco and PetSmart celebrate their doggie clientele, and leashed, well-behaved dogs are welcome throughout each store at every location. Some locations even offer doggie day care for shoppers.

Home Improvement Stores

Lowe's Home Improvement and Home Depot are both well-known for allowing pets - however, the degree to which pets are welcome varies widely from location to location. It's important to check with each individual store before bringing your dog with you to help you select your lumber or bathroom fixtures.

Outdoor Stores

Tractor Supply Company, a well-known agricultural and farming supply store, welcomes leashed, friendly dogs at most of its locations - but that's what you might expect from a store that supports pet adoptions and holds an annual Pet Appreciation Week. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's - both of which are hunting, fishing and all-around outdoor authorities -- also allow pets at many of their locations; a fact that's not well-known, but also not surprising.

Craft Stores

Michael's Craft Store has a reputation for being dog friendly. While not every location may welcome your pooch, some of them will allow him to ride in the cart as you browse.

Local Stores

Many local chains or mom-and-pop stores work to develop personal relationships with their clientele. They also tend to have a lot of discretion and autonomy when it comes to whether or not they will allow pets in their establishments. Call ahead to your favorite local retailer. They may surprise you by saying your pet is welcome, especially if he's small enough to fit in a carrier or shopping cart. is the premier online pet friendly travel guide.