Our volunteer-run organization is made up of individuals from all walks of life. The people in this group don’t necessarily share the same views or personal interests, but what we all have in common is a deep respect for dogs, and the people who care for them. This shared love for making a difference for the most vulnerable animals in our community has led us all to Maricopa County Animal Care where we are proud to hold the title of “volunteers”. 

With that title, we maintain a huge amount of respect for those who do not have the luxury of choosing their tasks at the shelter, and those who have to make tough decisions every single day…the MCAC Staff. There has been a large amount of negativity surrounding the shelter in the past few days. As a group of volunteers who are in the trenches supporting MCAC we feel very strongly about the shelter and have firsthand experiences volunteering there to support these views. Please take a moment to read what some of our dedicated team members have to say. We know it will restore your faith in our community shelter. 

“I applaud MCACC staff for taking never-ending criticism and always taking the high road. Regardless of the abuse they receive, they never turn their backs on the community and welcome every member of the public with a smile. No matter how much they are drug through the mud, they will always be there to help their community and never let the animals suffer.”

Nick Pappas (MCAC West + CCP volunteer)
Toronto - located at MCAC East #A4340398
Toronto – available for adoption at MCAC East #A4340398

“I think the biggest misconception about our county shelters is that the staff are just there to do a job. The truth is that no one would do this type of physically & emotionally daunting work day in and day out if they didn’t care about the well-being of those animals. The staff at Maricopa County care and it shows.”

Marie Puetz (MCAC West + CCP volunteer)

“I can choose what activity I want to do because it’s not all walking dogs (blanketing before bed is my favorite), staff is friendly and gives me freedom but also takes time to help if I ask. I get to help dogs that don’t always get adopted, but still need attention. MCACC is where it’s easy to make a difference for homeless dogs, which is why I love volunteering there!”

Meghan McCormick (MCAC West + CCP volunteer)

“It is incredibly rewarding for me to volunteer at MCAC. Shelter dogs, and the people that help take care of them, hold a special place in my life. Animal welfare is always changing and evolving; this is hard stuff. The people that make up MCAC – staff, volunteers, fosters, partners – put their hearts on the line every single day for these animals, and for each other.”

Cara Riley  (MCAC West/East + CCP volunteer)
Emma (recently adopted from MCACC East)
Emma (recently adopted from MCACC East)

“When groups like ours started assisting MCACC, it was before Mary’s era. To watch what has been accomplished in the past couple years under her leadership is nothing but amazing. Volunteering at the shelter has sparked a new found respect for shelter workers. As a volunteer, we get to pick and choose our hours, pick and choose what decisions we want to be a part of. Staff have to make  tough decision after tough decision and have to live in the chaos that is an animal shelter all while under constant scrutiny.”

Richard Courtney (MCAC West/East + CCP volunteer)

“I used to volunteer for several years with a rescue. I made weekly trips to the shelter in hopes of finding dogs to bring into our organization. The faces we left behind haunted me because back then, the rate of euthanasia was astronomical. Many years later, guided with new leadership, the euthanasia rate has dropped dramatically. I was able to witness firsthand the positive changes that were happening in our shelter and I was drawn to be a part of that change. Too many people are afraid to step inside the shelter doors, and because they won’t, I, and others just like me, have to.”

Lisa Thomas (MCAC East + CCP volunteer)

“I don’t just enjoy volunteering at MCACC because I love dogs (which I do), I enjoy volunteering because it is also where I come together with like-minded people. Between other volunteers, shelter staff and the animals, the shelter is a place where I can give back but also walk away with pride in my community and the people helping to make it a better place. “

Heather Brendle (MCAC West + CCP volunteer)
Heather with adoptable Otter (MCAC West #A4350019)
Heather with adoptable Otter (MCAC West #A4350019)

“Going to the shelter became fun and more purposeful when I became part of a team dedicated to serving shelter pets together. Having a strong group of volunteers also helps me manage the aspects of shelter life that are difficult for any volunteer. Instead of worrying or not knowing what to do when a situation arises, we have a whole team of people with knowledge and resources.”

Karin Lingle (MCAC East + CCP volunteer)

I became a county volunteer this year and let me tell you that is has been nothing short of positive and incredibly rewarding. I am in awe as I watch how many hours staff, fosters, and fellow volunteers invest into the shelter and these animals on a daily basis. As a volunteer, I get to pick and choose when I am at the shelter and how I spend my time. I can’t imagine pouring my heart and soul into something only to be scrutinized. Thankfully, I don’t have to make the tough decisions every day. I am so thankful for the people that do who are trying to do right by these animals. I am thankful I have the opportunity to help care for these dogs in an environment surrounded by like-minded individuals. Thank you to all of the staff who work tirelessly to make the shelters better every day.

Sara Barnes (MCAC East/West + CCP Volunteer)

Volunteering at MCAC has been rewarding on many levels; MCAC has been my first volunteering experience and I find myself craving to come back during any free time that I have over the last three years. What makes me want to keep coming back? The people, the hope, the positive changes that I see. Every staff member there cares deeply about the animals. It has been inspiring and motivating to see the changes that have come with Mary taking the lead, she makes the shelter better for the people and the animals.

Monica Adalsteinsson (MCAC East/West + CCP Volunteer)