Azrescue.org operates a non-profit animal rescue in Maricopa County, Arizona
AZ RESCUE - Home Page
RESCUE is an acronym that stands for Reducing Euthanasia at Shelters through Commitment and Underlying Education. When RESCUE began in February of 1995, it was nothing more than one individual's passion for saving the lives of animals who, through no fault of their own, found themselves awaiting certain death on the euthanasia lists at the Maricopa County animal shelters in Phoenix, Arizona. At the time of RESCUE's inception these two county-run shelters had one of the highest euthanasia rates per capita in the country. After eight years working together to reduce those statistics, we consider Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Services one of our most important partners.
Our first cat was named AC (short for Amazing Cat!). Since that very first day our focus has been to visit Animal Care and Control as often as possible, rescuing as many as possible from certain death. At the time of our first adoption, the PETsMART Luv-A-Pet Center in Tempe, Arizona was our only home and we only could keep our cats there Monday through Friday each week. Every one of our cats went into foster care on Friday night and returned again to the Luv-a-Pet Center on Sunday evening. This need to move cats in and out of PETsMART each week led to the birth of our phenomenal foster care program. These dedicated volunteers take our orphans into their homes and provide the loving care and shelter they need. Some of our original foster parents are still with us today! In that first year, our volunteer base grew to nearly 50 people and more importantly we found loving homes for 300 cats that had been scheduled to die.
As we rescued each cat and worked to secure each his loving and permanent home, we couldn't help but realize we were letting the dogs down. We heard their barks as we did our work in the cat wing of Animal Care and Control, and when we ventured into the dog wings, their eyes followed us, wondering when we would come for them. In 1996 we rescued our first dog, Hyena. With one of our cat foster parents willing to take on the challenge of fostering a dog, we began our mission to save the dogs, too! This effort was not without its challenges, but the community and our volunteers embraced our expansion. RESCUE reached out and established some wonderful veterinary partners that have resulted in lasting business relationships that assist us with not only medical services but also much needed boarding space for our dogs. By the end of 1997 our volunteer resources had grown to just over 75 people. During this time, we also expanded our adoptions hours to include the weekends, allowing both our mission and our animals more exposure resulting in over 1,700 total adoptions by the end of that year!