Assisting free-roaming and unwanted animals, and providing you resources to help the animals in your families and communities

Frequently Asked Questions

This page is a work in progress. We continue to add questions and responses as time permits and as we receive inquiries. Please check back.

Help! I Found Abandoned Kittens!

Before you do anything, read this. It's rare for a mother cat to abandon her kittens - even the most inexperienced of moms. Nature provides them an innate knowledge of caring for their young, but they have to eat too. If you've found kittens without a mother, do not remove them, unless you are absolutely certain they are in immediate danger, or you've found the mother cat dead. Read our Found Kittens? brochure to learn exactly what you should and shouldn't do.

If you have discovered a mama and kittens in your yard, this brochure will also help. Do not remove the kittens. Follow the instructions in the brochure to provide for the cat family, then contact us to network them throughout the rescue community. ALF does not have a shelter or adoption facility and will not be able to accept the mama and kittens, but will do our best to help you to find an adoption shelter who might. If the mama cat is under-socialized, the best option for her will be TNR. Read the topic below about stray cat colonies in your neighborhood. If these cats are left outside and never sterilized, you will have a population explosion just like it, within the next year or so. If they are removed and taken to the County shelter, they'll probably be killed, and the remaining cats (trust us, they're there) will still over-populate.

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Do you take animals from the public?

We're often asked to take in animals from the public who need to find a new home. ALF does not have a shelter or adoption facility. However, we will help you to find a suitable home for your pet, by posting a courtesy adoption biography, and sharing your request with our network of animal advocates and rescuers. We will not facilitate "free to a good home" adoptions. You must charge a reasonable adoption fee, and have the pet brought current on all necessary vet work.

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Do you take dogs?

We have occasionally adopted a dog into a new home, but we do not have a shelter or other facility. If you need to place a dog, we will post an adoption biography and share your request with our network of animal advocates and rescuers. You must foster the dog in your own home until a suitable, forever home is found. We will not facilitate "free to a good home" adoptions. You must charge a reasonable adoption fee, and have the pet brought current on all necessary vet work.

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How do I get my pet posted on your adoption pages?

We require that all animals be tested, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered, at the owner's expense.

You will need to send us 1 to 3 web-ready pictures (.jpg, .gif, .png, or .bmp format, not more than 600 pixels wide, typically less than 150 kilobytes in size).

You will also need to send a bio with the following information for each pet:
  • Name
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Declawed (if a cat)?
  • Spayed/Neutered?
  • When/where tested and results
  • When/where last vaccinated
  • Good with cats/dogs/kids?
  • Known health or behavior issues
  • Description of personality
  • Reason for relinquishment
  • Your complete contact info
Our email address is alfrescue @ hotmail.com

Please do not send flyers or attachments, other than pictures formatted as described above. Most flyers are too large, and may contain viruses. Send us the text-only information, typed into an email, and attach pictures in the required format and size. Attachments other than pictures as described will not be opened.

You must agree to keep the pet safely indoors while it is posted with ALF, screen all interested parties, select a safe and loving home, and not give the animal away for free. There are some really slick operators out there who are unscrupulous and can be very good con artists. You must protect your pet from going to an abuser, a lab, or a dog fighting operation.

An application or contract, a home visit, and a fee of at least $50 is required to ensure that the adopting individual will not bring harm to the animal.

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Is there a charge to courtesy-post my pet or network it through ALF?

There is no charge to network your pet or post it on our site. However, all animals are required to be altered, tested, and current on vaccinations for us to list them, and this would be at your expense.

If you want to relinquish your pet to another rescue, each group has their own policies, and they may charge a fee. A donation to the group who takes your pet may help and would certainly be appreciated, especially if they'll have to provide any additional vet work.

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I'm moving to an apartment where pets aren't allowed. Can you take my cat/dog?

Did you know that May is National Moving Month? It's the start of the period when Americans relocate the most. If you have pets, there is simply no excuse for not including them in your family's relocation plans. Please read this informative article to learn how moving affects your pets, and get some tips for success: click here to read.

There are many options for pet-friendly housing in Arizona. Most other states also allow pets. A quick Internet search produced this list:


If you are in the military and are being deployed to a trouble spot, you may find help with the following organizations:

Arizona Humane Society's Project Active Duty
Military Pets Foster Project
Humane Society of the United States
Tripler Army Medical Center
Operation Noble Foster

On the flip side, if you or someone you know is in the military and wants to bring a pet back to the US, contact the SPCA International and ask about Operation Baghdad Pups.

We are a nation overflowing with homeless, unwanted animals who were once someone's beloved family pet. Sadly, many of them relinquished to open access shelters will be killed. Please read the questions above if, after searching the above listings for pet-friendly housing, you still feel you must rehome your pet.

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There is a large feral/stray cat colony in my apartment complex/neighborhood.
Will you come and remove them?

We will not trap ferals or strays in order to relocate them, or to relinquish them to Animal Care & Control or another shelter, and we won't assist you in doing so. Approximately 1,000 animals are killed in Maricopa County shelters every week. Removing feral cats and taking them to a shelter is a death guarantee, and will cause the homeless cat population in that area to increase exponentially over time, thus contributing to overpopulation and the suffering of even more cats.

Please join the humane movement, the only method proven to provide a long-term, lasting solution to controlling the population of feral cats. Contact the Spay Neuter Hotline today to establish TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) in your neighborhood. 602-265-SPAY(7729), feralcats@adlaz.org, http://spayneuterhotline.org/.

Feral and community cat overpopulation is everyone's responsibility. By living in a human society, you are subject to many things that result from the actions of other people who live in the same society. Unfortunately one of those things is a large population of homeless cats. They are in every neighborhood, in every city. Being homeless is not their fault, any more than it is yours. If the cats are removed, you will just get more cats who are unsterilized. Most of the nuisances caused by homeless cats are the result of not being spayed or neutered. Yowling, fighting, spraying are all behaviors associated with mating. To reduce or eliminate these behaviors, the cats need to be neutered, and then fed. This will keep new unsterilized cats from taking up residence and starting the breeding cycle over again.

Please read Maricopa County Animal Care and Control's position on living with feral cats in our communities at this link.

Remember, the problem was not created overnight, and it won't be resolved overnight, either. You can gradually reduce the population over time through TNR, or you can contribute to the ever-growing population of community cats by choosing another alternative. Trap/Neuter/Return is the only choice we support.

Learn more about Feral Cats: click to view a video public service announcement from Alley Cat Allies.

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Hello! I'm interested in getting my female dog fixed.
Can you send me some locations that are low cost?

There are many low-cost options for sterilizing your pets. View a list of Clinics.

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Help! My cat got out and he's lost!

First of all, don't panic! He will sense your fear, and may stay gone longer. Even if you just moved, and he hasn't had a chance to get used to the new place, there is still hope! Our Lost & Found page has tips and instructions, as well as shelter contacts and Lost & Found web sites.

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I found a cat/dog and can't keep it. Will you take it?

All stray pets must be turned into the Animal Care and Control shelter or held by the finder for a minimum of 72 hours. During this time you must make every attempt to locate the owners. If you are unsuccessful in finding the previous owners, and the required hold period has passed, we will help you to find a suitable home. Please read the first few questions in the FAQ, and provide us the required items for posting the pet. Our Lost & Found page has tips and instructions, as well as shelter contacts and Lost & Found web sites.

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Why is my cat urinating on the rug?

This is a very stressful situation for both humans, and cats. Thankfully there are many solutions to this common issue. The most important thing to know is that punishment will make it worse - always. There are many reasons why a cat begins to urinate outside the box. You have to rule out the possibility that there is a health reason for this new behavior. Once the vet has given him a clean bill of health, your mission is to get him to think inside the box. So how do you know if it's medical or behavioral? Our Thinking Inside the Box page will help you decide, and step you through the process of retraining your cat to choose the litter box instead of the rug.

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I see cats living in the park/shopping center, what should I do?

Currently there are an astonishing 350,000 estimated homeless, community cats living in Maricopa County. They're everywhere shelter and a food source can be found, places such as shopping centers, schools, parks, apartment complexes. They are a direct result of irresponsible owners who did not spay or neuter their cats, and either allowed them to roam outdoors, or left them behind when they moved. These cats seek out food and shelter, and many become pregnant along the way. This results in litters of unsocialized kittens who mature and have litters of their own. When they find a "safe" place to take up residence, they live as a family in a colony. Two cats become 20 in just one year!

Removing these cats is not an option. They are not suited for adoption, and will be killed upon intake at the open-access shelters. This will leave a vacancy in the park or shopping center for new cats to take up residence, and begin breeding again. This usually results in a larger population than before, and the situation spirals out of control.

The only successful method of dealing with this social issue, is TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return).

Please join the humane movement, the only method proven to provide a long-term, lasting solution to controlling the population of feral cats. Contact the Spay Neuter Hotline today to establish TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) in this location. 602-265-SPAY(7729), feralcats@adlaz.org, http://spayneuterhotline.org/.

Read more about our responsibilies as members of a human society in the post about apartment complexes above.

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A dog has been hanging around my work but I can't catch him.

Since the economic downturn, we've seen an increase in the number of animals, both cats and dogs, who have been abandoned, and are roaming the streets trying to survive on their own. It doesn't take long before they're fearful, and run from would-be guardians. That's where we come in.

We have one of the few humane dog traps in the Valley, and it has been quite busy the last few years. If you are trying to capture a homeless pet, please be sure you understand our policies before contacting us. We are not an adoption group, and cannot accept animals from the public. However, we will assist the public to the degree that we're able, within our established policies. To rent the dog trap from ALF, please review the policies and complete the Trap Rental agreement here.

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Coming soon:

Taming feral kittens
My neighbors moved out and left their pets behind
House foreclosed, dog left in yard
Elderly person in care facility, had been feeding dozens of strays
My dog suddenly began nipping at us
I've seen stray dogs in the country and started feeding them
The cats at my colony keep outsmarting the traps!

ALF Animal Loving Friends
7650 S McClintock Dr
Suite 103-120
Tempe, AZ 85284

Contact Us

Email: alfrescue@hotmail.com