Pet adoption

Emptying Shelters Helps Increase Pet Adoption Rates

The Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL) speaks to Arizona Horizon about an “Empty the Shelters” event, an effort to increase adoption rates and help as many animals find their forever homes. Alessandra Navidad, President and CEO of AAWL, joined us to tell us more. She also brought two adoptable cats to the set of Arizona Horizon.

The Bissell Pet Foundation is hosting the “Empty the Shelters” event and will cover adoption fees for all adopted pets 1 year and older.

As largest funded adoption event in the country, Empty the Shelters helps homeless animals find families by making adoption affordable for future pet owners. To do this, they support participating organizations by reimbursing each adopted animal.

Established in 2016, Empty the Shelters has helped reunite more than 96,000 pets with their loving families at participating shelters in 47 states and Canada.

The event now runs until July 31, 2022.

AAWL Sonia Breslow Adoption Center
25 N. 40th St.
Phoenix, AZ, 85034 (north of Washington St.)

For more information, visit

The Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA (AAWL & SPCA) is Arizona’s largest and oldest no-kill shelter. A “no-kill” shelter is an animal shelter that does not kill healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full, reserving euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those deemed to be a danger to public safety.

AAWL rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes over 4,000 dogs and cats abandoned or abandoned by their owners. They do this primarily by rescuing them from other shelters in Maricopa County where they are at risk of being euthanized due to lack of time and resources to care for them. At any one time, the AAWL shelter will house 140 cats and 190 dogs. They also have a foster parent network of approximately 90 families who provide in-home care and shelter for puppies and kittens too young for adoption, as well as pets recovering from medical procedures or in need of care. to be socialized before adoption. All animals offered for adoption have been neutered or neutered; microchipped and up to date with all vaccinations. All necessary medical treatment, including surgery, is provided by AAWL’s medical team.


The Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL) was founded in 1971 by a group of concerned animal lovers. This group was led by Amanda Blake, better known as “Miss Kitty” on the television show Gunsmoke. Starting on a small scale, concerned volunteers adopted cats and dogs rescued from foster homes. In the late 1970s, the organization built its first shelter. In the mid-1990s, the AAWL and SPCA began rescuing animals that were to be euthanized by the county and, after rehabilitation, released them to the community for adoption. Over the past 50 years, the organization has grown from adopting a handful of animals each year to a full-service animal welfare organization and a leader in innovative behavior training programs, medical care, adoption, education and community outreach. Today, our shelter has an on-site veterinary clinic, kennels with a separate cattery, a training center and a self-contained infirmary.

In 2005, the Arizona Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) merged with the AAWL. The new organization was renamed the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA (AAWL & SPCA).

The AAWL tells us about the “Empty the Shelters” event, an effort to increase adoption rates and help as many animals find their forever homes.

Alessandra Navidad, President and CEO of AAWL

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