Officers rescue unattended dogs

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Safford Animal Control rescued two dogs from the heat Thursday. The dogs owner began the retrieval process from the Graham County Animal Shelter the following day.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Most calls for Animal Control regard an aggressive animal that needs to be handled. However, sometimes officers respond to humanitarian issues as well. 

It was the latter for a Safford officer and Safford Animal Control officer on Thursday, June 20, when an anonymous report of a dog tied up with no water reached first responders. 

Shortly after 7 p.m., the officer responded to a residence on W. 15th St. that appeared to be abandoned even though the residence had current electricity and water. 

The officer located two dogs with no access to food, water, or shelter and left to fend for themselves in the 100-degree heat. 

Nobody answered the door and the officer could not locate anyone with a phone number listed for the address. 

Fearing for the dogs’ safety, a Safford Animal Control officer removed the dogs from the residence at about 8:15 p.m. and placed them into the Graham County Animal Control Shelter, where they received food, water, and a place to escape the heat. 

The officer also left a business card with contact information on the front door of the residence if the dogs’ owners return and want to retrieve their animals.

According to Graham County Animal Control Shelter Supervisor Robert Hernandez, the dogs’ owner came by the following day and claimed her dogs. 

The owner provided identification and was charged a city of Safford fee of $50 per dog and Graham County fee of $35 per dog as well as a daily shelter fee of $15 to get her dogs back. 

Hernandez also stressed the importance of having ID tags on dogs and said it was also a good idea to write an address and phone number on the animals’ collars in case a tag fell off. That way, the shelter can contact the dogs’ owners when they are brought into the shelter. 

Hernandez said that in accordance with state law, dogs that come into the shelter are kept for three days before they are then allowed to be adopted by anyone. People who have dogs that do not have contact information on them have the possibility of having their dogs adopted by someone else if not claimed within the three-day period.  

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