Bottle Racket

Maricopa County's tiniest pups used to get foster moms. Now they get killed

Meanwhile, older dogs are being killed. "I don't know that it's okay for them to die for that reason," she says. "It kills us to euthanize any animal, much less little babies. But if we have a mom with puppies, and they're a little bit older, that's what we need the foster mothers for."

However logical, Bank's argument is hardly gaining traction with some foster moms. Clarke, Klondike's owner, says she's part of a group of nearly a dozen would-be volunteers who attended a county seminar in October. Most have no interest in taking older dogs. "We fill this little niche," she says. "The bottle-feeders are what we want to do."

When Clarke heard about the policy change, she contacted agency director Rodrigo Silva several times. She never heard back. Nor, she notes, has the agency offered her or anyone at the October meeting any animals to foster.

Orphaned puppies don't always get a chance to find a home.
David Hollenbach
Orphaned puppies don't always get a chance to find a home.

Some foster moms didn't want to speak on the record for fear of losing the chance to volunteer. Not Clarke. She's mad that the county won't give puppies a chance, mad that guys like Klondike are being written off as future delinquents.

"To think I would not have Klondike if they had this in effect two years ago -- I can't say I've ever had a problem with him, and I'm not even a dog person," she says.

Then she corrects herself: "Now I am a dog person. And I think it's absolutely horrible."

E-mail, or call 602-440-1130.

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