Animal Control sets records with more adoptions, less euthanasia

By Christina Leonard, The Arizona Republic (Monday July 15th 2002)

 Ten years ago, Maricopa County Animal Care & Control had a reputation as one of the worst programs in the country.  Today, it's thought of as one of the best, according to the agency's director, Ed Boks.  "To the best of our knowledge, we're the Number 1 pet adoption agency in the world," Boks said Friday. "We have really turned the corner here."  Boks and his staff are celebrating their latest accomplishment: For the second year in a row, the agency broke its own records in pet adoptions and preventing euthanasia. During the past fiscal year, which ended June 30, the agency handled 21,425 pet adoptions an 11 percent inrease over the year before. And euthanasia dropped 11 percent, to 28,800 from 32,542. Boks credits the turnaround  to several innovative programs, including spaying and neutering services that are free to low-income families, a consumer-friendly pet adoption center in central Phoenix and the "Scratch & Sniff Petmobile", a bus that brings adoptable dogs and cats to community events.  Agencies nationwide have   asked about the programs, he said. The euthanasia rate is the lowest in the agency's history. It is nine per 1,000 residents today, compared with about 25 per 1,000 residents in the  mid-1980s. Boks' goal is three per 1,000 residents in the next few years.