Two new pet adoption stores are scheduled to open in Phoenix area malls in September. Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) is opening its first adoption shop in the Metrocenter Mall, and Arizona Humane Society (AHS) has announced the opening of its second pet adoption store at the Desert Sky Mall. These new stores bring the total to three pet adoption shops in the Valley.
Part of a conversion trend that"s occurring with pet stores nationwide, this new concept in pet shops not only gives homeless pets more exposure to adoption, but also signifies a national trend of consumers rejecting old-style pet shops that most likely are stocked by puppy mills.
Two pet stores in Scottsdale, Posh Puppy and Pets Landing, have closed within the past year and the Animal Kingdom pet shop in Phoenix"s Desert Sky Mall was also shuttered recently.
All three of the new adoption stores are located in shopping malls, with shop space donated by mall developers or owners. Last November, AHS opened Petique, Arizona's first pet adoption shop, at the Biltmore Fashion Park Mall. To date, nearly 400 dogs and cats have been already adopted from this location.
As part of the preparation for their new Desert Sky store, Arizona Humane recently held a contest among its volunteers to help name the facility, but the name hasn"t yet been formally announced.
"The store will operate much like our current Petique location, with a blend of AHS staff and volunteers," explains Kimberly Searles, AHS communication manager. As for the success of its current store, Searles says it"s a combination of different factors: "a great location, a supportive partner in Westcor, and certainly a dedicated staff and compassionate team of volunteers."
And MCACC is also busily preparing for their new Metrocenter Mall adoption store. While there is no specific opening date yet set, a grand opening for the new Metrocenter shop is planned for early September, with the official name to be announced shortly.
"I"ve heard that people are excited to see animals again in the mall," says Aprille Hollis, MCACC"s public information officer. "They enjoy being able to go look at them, and even if people just come in to look at and pet the animals, that attention helps the animals."
Both dogs and cats will be available for adoption at the MCACC store, which will be staffed with current MCACC employees and volunteers. Staff will care for the 20-50 dogs and cats that stay at the store.
"To start, we will choose a variety of dogs and cats," Hollis says. "Staff can monitor which breeds and sizes do well to determine what animals should continue to be brought over."
All animals will be spayed or neutered by MCACC veterinary staff ahead of time. Dog guardians will also be able to purchase dog licenses at the store. And PetSmart Charities has shown interest and offered its support, which, according to Hollis, certainly helps MCACC give the animals a better chance at finding their forever home.
"Any time we can get the homeless animals in front of the community, good things happen," Hollis says. "We"re looking forward to seeing many adoptions come out of this new opportunity."
How you can help:
- Donate to the shops: contact MCACC at (602) 506-3471 or AHS at (602) 997-7586 to see what items are needed
- Adopt a pet from one of the shops or shelters. This week at MCACC, August 16 - 22, all cats over six months are only $20 to adopt. Kittens (under 6 months of age) are $50. This covers the adoption fee, spay or neuter surgery, a 3-in-1 vaccine, and a rabies vaccination (if over three months of age).
- Volunteer with MCACC or AHS.
Pictured pets (photo credits - MCACC and AHS)
- Skeeter, a domestic medium hair male, available at the MCACC West Valley Animal Care Center, at the Back-to-School special adoption fee of $20.
- Shaggy, a 1-year-old male Australian Shepherd mix, member of the AHS Lonely Hearts Club, available at the AHS Sunnyslope Facility, at a reduced adoption fee of $35