pet news

JULY 14, 2011

MCACC is overflowing with furry friends

Animals need good homes

PHOENIX – Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) is overrun with dogs and cats, big and small. Right now, there are more than 1,000 animals at the shelter. MCACC is doing everything we can to save as many lives as possible. Adoptable dogs and cats are stacked three+ deep in every available space. Maricopa County is at a critical crossroads in relation to eliminating the senseless euthanasia of adoptable pets. In order to move forward, we need the community to step up and help us.

You can help our animals in a number of ways. Now is a great time to adopt. We have many adorable, healthy pets in our shelters - whether you are looking for a running partner, or a cat to snuggle with, you will find them here. In order to make some space in our crowded shelter, we are offering an adoption special that has never been done before. Starting July 12, every single adoptable dog at MCACC can go to a new home for $17. That includes spay or neuter, age appropriate vaccinations, and a dog license if over the age of three months. The special runs through July 31. Check out their two new adoption centers - 4380 N. Miller Road in Scottsdale (inside the PetSmart) and Under One Woof at 9617 N. Metro Parkway #1116 in Phoenix (inside Metrocenter Mall).

If you can’t adopt, but do want to help, consider becoming a foster family. Fostering is a temporary placement of our homeless animals which saves their life. We are always in need of people who want to open their homes and their hearts to our animals. Foster families care for puppies and kittens not yet old enough to be placed up for adoption and dogs or cats recovering from medical or behavior issues.

If you are planning on turning in a dog or cat, please try to wait a few more weeks. We do not want to have to consider euthanizing animals because we are out of space. A couple of weeks will give us some time to find outlets for the animals that we do have.

Dogs and cats have so much love to offer. They make great companions. They love to play and are ready with a snuggle any time. So hurry in today and add a new member to your household. For more information on MCACC, visit or call (602) 506-7387.

Maricopa County Animal Care & Control is a full service animal welfare agency with shelter, adoptions, field services, licensing and education programs. Their mission is to promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of people and pets in Maricopa County.

JULY 13, 2011

Shoo fly … Don’t bother me!

Shoo fly, don’t bother me!  Summer time is prime time for increased numbers of various types of flies that can irritate your horse and you.  Put away that fly swatter because there are better measures that can be taken to limit the number of flies.

“Stable flies, horse flies, black flies, deer flies, sand flies and biting midge flies – so many flies.  They all can bite your horse, draw blood and possibly cause allergic reactions,” notes Dr. Glennon Mays, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

“Flies will probably not be completely eliminated from your horse stable,” states Mays.  “But, there are control measures that can be put in place to decrease the fly population in your horse facilities.  Since stable flies are one of the most common summer pests your horse will encounter, I’ll focus on this fly.”

Stable flies feed on the blood of warm blooded animals, explains Mays.  They pierce the skin with their mouth parts, lacerate the skin and then inject saliva which contains an anticoagulant that keeps the blood flowing. The bite can be painful and irritating.  Depending on your horse’s skin sensitivity, there could also be a reaction to the bite.  Stable flies usually feed during the early morning hours and again in the late afternoon.  They also feed selectively preferring the legs and belly to other areas of your horse’s body.

“The female stable fly requires blood meals to produce viable eggs and surprisingly, eggs are deposited in decaying animal and plant waste, generally not in fresh manure,” notes Mays.  “Fly larvae can develop in stable waste that is a combination of damp straw and manure, or under hay bales that are in contact with moist soil. In the warm summer, the entire life cycle from egg to adult can be completed in three to six weeks.”

The hot summer temperatures promote increased fly numbers, but sound sanitation practices in conjunction with other controls can decrease fly populations, says Mays. 

Reduce larvae development by eliminating the environment where they can develop.  Spread manure and stable bedding regularly so it will dry out as fast as possible.  Modify drainage areas so excess water is eliminated.

When stable flies finish feeding, they seek a place to rest and digest their blood meal.  This instinctive habit makes way for control of adult flies with residual insecticides sprayed on stable surfaces, explains Mays.  Sides of buildings (inside and outside), stall surfaces and fences are all areas where flies can be found resting.  Residual insecticides can provide fly control over a period of time.  Be sure to follow label recommendations for use, mixing and spraying.

“Sprays and dusts may be used to protect your horse, but these usually have short residual effect,” notes Mays.  “Repellents containing DEET are better suited for mosquitoes rather than flies.”

The number of flies produced by a pair of stable flies and their offspring in the summer months is in the millions.  Therefore, it is best to establish good fly control practices.  A sound sanitation program is the first step needed to decrease stable fly populations at your horse facilities.

“It will take a combination of controls to decrease stable fly numbers.  You need to implement measures to decrease fly breeding and larvae hatching.  Any stable flies that make it through these stages should be chemically controlled with residual insecticides and direct animal applications,” explains Mays.

Knowledge of some basic stable fly facts in addition to good stable management practices will help you to have a winning chance against the pesky stable fly.

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University.  Stories can be viewed on the Web at