Frequently Asked Questions

AAWL & SPCA was founded in 1971 and is the largest and oldest no-kill shelter in the state of Arizona located at 25 N. 40th Street. We temporarily home around 90 dogs and 130 cats who are receiving medical care or are awaiting adoption to their new forever home. Annually, we find new homes for over 3,100 animals.

Although most of our animals are adopted quickly, there is no time limit to the length of time that animals remain available for adoption. In some cases, we may care for an animal for several weeks or months. We closely monitor dogs and cats who remain at our shelter for an extended time and give them enrichment activities to minimize their stress. Also, ALL of our dogs are taken out of their kennels for walks or are given socialization time in our play yards at least twice a day, sometimes up to three or four times per day, thanks to our dedicated volunteer team. We also have our "Gimmie a Break" program which allows volunteers/staff to take a dog or cat home Sunday and return on Tuesday morning so that they can have a break from the shelter environment. Some adult animals may be placed in foster homes until they are adopted if we find they are not adapting well to the shelter environment. Currently our foster program consists mainly of fostering kittens and puppies. We hope to expand our foster program in the future to encompass adult animals as well.

The Pet Match Adoption Center is open to the public for adoptions and animal viewing from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm Saturday and Sunday, from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday and 11:30 am to 7 pm on Friday. The staff and volunteers are here seven days a week to care for the animals.

AAWL & SPCA gets about 98% of our animals from Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. We select animals that are at immediate risk of euthanasia due to overcrowding.

Yes, we have three full time veterinarians, who are assisted by skilled teams.

All strays over three months of age should be taken to Maricopa Animal Care and Control (MCACC), for a stray hold to give owners a central location to claim their animals. For stray cats you have two choices: you can take the cat to MCACC or Arizona Humane Society (AHS). There is a surrender fee for both facilities. Other suggestions if you've found a pet:

  • Post flyers in and around your neighborhood or where the pet was found, after getting the OK from the proper authorities, of course.
  • Include an easy-to-read title, such as "Found Cat" or "Found Dog."
  • Provide a brief description of the found animal (e.g., Female, brown tabby with white tail).
  • Leave your name and number.
  • Omit one or two of the pet's unique identifying marks so you can make sure you have the true owner of the pet.
  • Consider placing a "Found Pet" classified ad in the newspaper - many large papers do it for free!
  • Register and search for the found pet on Pets 911 either by phone at 1-888-PETS911 or on the Internet at
  • Register the found pet with Arizona Pet Line by calling 602-252-2727
  • Register the found pet with Missing Mutts by calling 480-898-8914 (they help cats, too!)
Central/West Valley East Valley
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control
2500 S. 27th Ave., Phoenix
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control
2630 W. 8th St., Mesa


No, we do not trap stray cats or provide any type of trapping service for free roaming/feral cats. We urge you to look at TNR (trap/neuter/return) solutions which can be found online at, click on the Trap Neuter Return button.

Adopting an animal from AAWL & SPCA is an easy process. It begins with filling out a short adopter profile and speaking with an adoptions counselor to make sure that the adopter is being matched with the animal that will best fit with their family and lifestyle.

No. Adopting a pet is a personal, lifestyle decision. If you are considering adopting a pet as a gift, we recommend that you purchase a money order for the adoption fee and give that as a gift or offer to go with them to the Adoption Center and pay the adoption fee when they find the pet that fits them best.

Adoption fees range from $50 - $350 depending on the age and breed of the dog. Cats range from $35 - $125 depending on the age of the cat. Generally it costs the shelter around $1100 - $1500 to bring the animal to an adoptable status from the point of intake. The adoption fee includes: spay/neuter surgery, a microchip, all current vaccinations, all medical care/medication received at the shelter, and 30 days of free pet insurance.

The history of the animals begins on the first day they arrive at the shelter, where they are medically and behaviorally evaluated before being released for adoption. Sometimes we have background information (e.g., was the animal a stray, an owner surrender, etc.), but most of the time we do not.

We are funded entirely through private donations. The AAWL does not receive any regular government or tax money.

Absolutely! You can make monetary donations by clicking here clicking here. For bequests or large donations, please contact our Development Department at, or by phone at 602-273-6852 Ext. 106. Another way you can donate is by giving pet food or any supply you see listed on our Wish List.

There are many ways to volunteer your time with the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA! All of the following duties are held by volunteers:

  • Cat care and socialization
  • Dog care and socialization
  • Clerical/Administrative duties
  • Dog/Cat fostering programs
  • Infirmary/Clinic programs
  • Assisting with Vaccine Clinics
  • Adoptions assistance
  • Off-site Event dog handling
  • Shelter Ambassador
  • Thrift Shop duties
  • Many other opportunities!

To get involved, you can sign up for a volunteer orientation by clicking here or contact the Volunteer Services Department at, or by phone at 602-273-6852 Ext. 120.

We do have opportunities from time-to-time for community service volunteers; call or E-mail the Volunteer Services Department for availability. You can contact, or by phone at 602-273-6852 Ext. 120. Depending on the offense for which you need to do community service hours, we will try to accommodate you.

Unfortunately, no. In order to volunteer at AAWL & SPCA you must be at least 18 years of age and able to commit at least eight hours a month with a six-month commitment. However, we do have many youth programs through our education department (there is a fee involved with all of them) and you can contact our Education Team at

If your pet is in need of emergency medical attention, please contact your emergency veterinarian right away.

The AAWL & SPCA is now able to offer limited, low-cost veterinary services to the public. This includes exams, testing, spay/neuter, medications and surgeries as appropriate. For more information go to our MDPet Care info page.

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