Low Complication Rate Claims Under Scrutiny At Maricopa County’s Animal Shelter

A recent investigation by The Arizona Republic on the nation’s second largest public animal shelter reveals potential flaws on reported rates of surgical complications by the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC). The animal shelter reports “it has one of the lowest rates of surgical problems at any public and private shelter in the United States” according to THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC.

12,000 to 14,000 dogs and cats are adopted each year from the Maricopa County’s shelters.

The reported low number of surgical complications does not include the thousands of animals adopted each year some of which could potentially develop medical problems soon after leaving the shelter. All adoptions require spaying or neutering before the animal is discharged from the County shelter.

MCACC does not track surgical complications on adoptions once the animal is discharged unless the animal is brought back to the facility to be examined by shelter veterinarians.

The reported number of animals that suffered complications after surgeries was about 0.005 percent (452 suffered complications out of 111,000 surgeries from 2008 thru 2013) according to County shelter officials.

Maricopa County Animal Care & Control operates two full service animal care centers in the metro phoenix area.

Maricopa County Animal Care & Control – East Clinic
Maricopa County Animal Care & Control – West Clinic


Maricopa County Animal Care & Control Lacks Oversight From State Veterinary Medical Board – March 29, 2015

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The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control currently has no system in place to track surgical complications that could develop soon after animals leave the shelter according to The Arizona Republic.

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