Maryvale Copes With Packs Of Stray Dogs

February 13, 2014

(Photo by Steve Shadley-KJZZ)
Stray dogs in the streets of Maryvale near 39th Avenue and McDowell Road.
(Photo by Steve Shadley-KJZZ)
Stray dogs run free in the streets of Maryvale near 39th Avenue and McDowell Road.
(Photo by Steve Shadley-KJZZ)
Strays like this one will be transported to the East Coast. This dog was in the streets of Maryvale near 39th Avenue and McDowell Road.
(Photo by Steve Shadley-KJZZ)
7-year-old Anibal Morales with his dogs Lucy and He-Man.
(Photo by Steve Shadley-KJZZ)
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Lieutenant John Reynolds stands in front in of the animal control truck.

The sound of stray chihuahuas is driving people mad in Maryvale. Animal Control officials say they’re doing everything possible to round the dogs up, but blame irresponsible pet owners for the problem.

Just about anyone who lives in this neighborhood off of 39th Avenue and McDowell is quick to complain about stray dogs. Stephanie Guzman finds the situation both amusing and aggravating.  

“There’s a lot of dogs in the street. People will start to going crazy because they bark all night," Guzman said.

There are roaming packs of dogs everywhere. I even saw one dead dog on a curb.  Occasionally you might see a pit bull, but people who live here said it’s the onslaught of stray chihuahuas that are most annoying.

Seven-year-old Anibal Morales stands in the carport of his home as he described a recent scrape he had with some strays.

“I was like riding my bike around the block and there was like three dogs that were all like barking at me and chasing me, they almost got me,” Morales said.

Jose Lopez said, “a lot of people go back to Mexico and they just leave their dogs behind."

Lopez has driven his Federal Express delivery truck in this area for seven years and said he’s been bitten by stray dogs a couple of times.  

"They’ll leave like for a month and just sort of leave their dogs to fend for themselves over here" said Lopez.

Maricopa County Animal Control Supervisor John Reynolds agreed that too many people in Maryvale abandon their dogs, especially during the recent foreclosure crisis that hit this area hard.  

"What we’ve found is that in the 21 square miles of Maryvale, last calendar year we had almost 6,000 calls for service,” Reynolds said.

That’s nearly twice as many calls to deal with stray dogs in Glendale and other parts of Phoenix and almost three times as many complaints Animal Control handled in all of Chandler and Gilbert last  year.

The Animal Control office is planning to run public service announcements on Spanish-language radio and TV stations urging people in Maryvale to spay and neuter their pets.