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Sheriff Joe Arpaio's no-kill animal shelter, MASH, was created to house and care for animals that have been abused or neglected by their caretakers and rescued by the Animal Crimes Investigations Unit. The purpose of the shelter is to provide a safe, healthy and healing shelter for these tragic animals, who must necessarily await the outcome of their owners' cruelty cases in court. Hopefully, their ultimate outcome will be adoption into loving, permanent homes.
The first shelter opened by Sheriff Arpaio is in the First Avenue Jail, located at First Avenue and Madison Street, Phoenix, Arizona. This 30-year-old jail previously held inmates, but was closed for repairs to plumbing in December 1999. Though no longer suitable for housing inmates, the jail looks like paradise to the four-footed victims now housed and recovering there.
The MASH location in the First Avenue Jail is air-conditioned, and the cells have been reconditioned to comfortably house animals. Some critics have said that it's inhumane to put dogs and cats in air-conditioned quarters when inmates don't have air conditioning. A good answer came from one of the inmates assigned to care for the dogs. When asked if she was resentful about not having air conditioning, she gestured to some of the dogs and said, "They didn't do anything wrong. I did."
Persons adopting animals from the MCSO Animal Safe Haven must promise to treat their adopted animals with care and affection, and:
  • Provide adequate meals and water

  • Provide a safe environment

  • Check animals daily (including ears and toes) for anything harmful to them - like burrs, foxtails, ticks and fleas

  • Brush and bathe animals regularly, and keep their nails clipped

  • Use flea and tick prevention

  • Do not hit the animals, even with a rolled-up newspaper

  • Use praise and humane obedience training

  • Obey all leash laws

  • Return unwanted animals to a "no-kill" shelter, or to MASH

  • All MASH animals available for adoption have started their shot series and have been spayed/neutered. Persons adopting animals will be responsible for continuing shot series and ongoing medical care, if needed.
    Animal cruelty is a violent crime and should be taken seriously. Animal abuse often occurs in homes where domestic violence, child abuse, and/or elder abuse are present. FBI studies confirm that several murderers, including Jeffrey Dahmer, David Berkowitz (the Son of Sam) and Albert DeSalvo (the Boston Strangler), all tortured and mutilated animals as children. MCSO Animal Cruelty Investigators depend on the public to spot and report animal abuse.
    For more information or donations, call Mash at 602-876-1212 or e-mail