A statement on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from Judith Gardner, President & CEO of the Arizona Animal Welfare League -Update 4-1-20


The Arizona Animal Welfare League continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation in the community as well as the need for animal sheltering and services.  Here is an update on our organization:

  • The shelter, education center, Chandler Mall Adoption Center and public clinic remain closed to the public at least until April 30, 2020.  We urge everyone to follow the Governor’s orders to stay in place as much as possible, except for essential services.


  • AAWL was fortunate to have placed almost every dog/puppy that was not adopted in foster care, leaving only a small number of dogs on site.  A small number of cats are still at the shelter as they typically do not adjust well to temporary off-site situations or relocation.


  • A greatly reduced staff is caring for all animals on-site and providing help to the community through video chats and telephone, including prescription refills from our public clinic and medical advice to clients as needed.


  • Most of our rural rescue partners are sheltering in place, however, those who have animal control contracts are quickly becoming overrun with too many animals and too few resources to care for them.  We are in constant contact with these partners and are developing a plan to help animals that are at risk of being euthanized for lack of space in these locations.


  • We have stopped public intake of animals for the past several weeks.  However, we are reaching out to those who had appointments and will be setting up new intake appointments with them over the next several weeks on a case by case basis.  Our goal is to assist those who are in dire circumstances and must relinquish their pet when they have no other options.  We also plan to help our rural rescue partners to save the lives of animals at risk.


  • Starting this weekend, April 4/4, we will be doing adoptions for the animals we have in foster care BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  We know many families are ready to adopt a pet, especially as they are staying home and have the time and desire to add a new family member.  All adopters making appointments (limited to 5 cat appointments and 10 dog appointments per day – see website at aawl.org) will be contacted in advance for an in-depth interview to ensure we are making a good match to their family needs.  All adopters will fill out required information in advance and will be met outdoors by an adoption counselor.  If a match is made, they will take the pet home with them at the end of the appointment.  This will open up space for more animals that are at risk.


  • The limited number of staff and volunteers at the Arizona Animal Welfare League are following CDC recommendations for social distancing, sanitizing work areas and personal hygiene – they are  a compassionate and dedicated group of people who want to work to save as many animals’ lives as possible during this difficult time.  Our commitment to our partners is critical and we will do everything in our power to continue to provide them with resources and assistance while remaining cognizant of government guidelines.
  • Future updates will be sent as needed.

Judith Gardner

April 1, 2020