The MCSO Animal Safe Haven (MASH) Unit was created in 2000 to provide support to the MCSO Animal Crimes Investigation (ACI) Unit and care for the abused and neglected animals seized in their investigations.

February 8, 2019

AZ Big Media

Philanthropic companies: PetSmart, APS, Fry’s

PetSmart commits $2M  Sheriff's Office

PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, has committed $2 million to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) to support the design and construction costs for a new facility that will house the MCSO Animal Safe Haven (MASH) Unit that will be located on Maricopa County's Durango Campus near the southwest corner of 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road in Phoenix.

The new facility will be the first of its kind in the country, offering ample onsite animal housing and medical space, as well as classroom space so larger groups of inmates can bond with and learn to care for animals. Ultimately, the facility will serve as a recovery space for both MASH Unit animals and incarcerated individuals detained in the Maricopa County jail system. It is expected to open by May 2022.

The MASH Unit  was originally created to care for abused and neglected animals seized in investigations. The program, which has operated for nearly 20 years, focuses on rehabilitation for both recovered animals and inmates facilitated through the human-animal bond. Nonviolent, female inmates participate in a pet care and training certificate program that fosters compassion and patience and helps the animals rebuild trust in preparation for adoption.

To date, more than 660 inmates have graduated from the MASH program and thousands of rehabilitated pets have found forever homes through adoption.

APS grant supports Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Duet: Partners In Health & Aging has recently received a grant from Arizona Public Service Company (APS) totaling $10,000. The grant from APS consists of a $7,500 cash donation and $2,500 for in-kind printing that supports the nonprofit’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren service area. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren provides support groups, workshops, activities for families, respite care, legal assistance and information and referral for grandparents who, for a variety of reasons, are raising their grandchildren.

“We are so grateful for the continuous support from APS, both financially to provide help and resources for grandparents raising grandchildren, and through volunteer service, to help elderly neighbors age in place with dignity,” says Patricia Dominguez, MSW, director of kinship care services at Duet.  

According to statistics, more than 100,000 children in Arizona are being raised by their grandparents or other relatives. Nationwide, that number is estimated at more than 5 million. Many parents are unable to take care of their children due to substance abuse, incarceration, mental illness, child abuse or death.

“When parents are absent or unable to raise their children, grandparents are often the ones who step in to keep the family together. This selfless act often comes with many challenges,” says Damon Gross, APS community affairs leader. “Duet provides welcome support to grandparents who are raising a second generation of children who also just happen to be Arizona’s future.” 

Fry’s Food Stores gifts $20,000 to Mobile Meals

Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona is pleased to announce a $20,000 gift from Fry’s Food Stores and The Kroger Foundation in support of their Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative. With these funds, Fry’s is adopting a meal delivery route to provide special-diet meals for homebound seniors and adults for an entire year.

Zero Hunger | Zero Waste is Fry’s commitment to end hunger in the communities they serve, as well as eliminate food waste across the company by 2025.

“It’s absurd that 1 in 5 Arizona elders are food insecure and yet there is so much food that goes to waste,” says Fry’s President Monica Garnes. “Fry’s is committed to helping them and others acquire healthy and nutritious food. Our gift ensures that those with special dietary needs will continue to get the nutrition they require for the next year.”

Mobile Meals has delivered special-diet meals to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities since 1970. With the help of a team of over 350 volunteers, Mobile Meals delivers nearly 100,000 meals every year. Just as important as the meals are the volunteers who deliver them. They are often the only friendly faces many Mobile Meals clients see each week.

Mobile Meals wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of community partners like Fry’s. Mobile Meals Adopt-a-Route program provides local businesses with the opportunity to give back to those in the community most in need of healthy meals and friendly faces.

APS and Phoenix Suns award 28 STEM grants

What do robots, amusement park rides and weather balloons have in common? They are all projects designed by K-12 teachers throughout Arizona and funded by the APS and Phoenix Suns STEM mini-grant program. For 13 years, the two organizations have teamed up to provide financial grants to help Arizona teachers bring innovative hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning to tens of thousands of students throughout the state.

This year, 28 K-12 teachers across Arizona – from Somerton to Phoenix and Joseph City to Douglas – received grants totaling more than $48,000. The grants will fund a wide-range of STEM-related projects, including robotics, gardening, sustainable art, computer coding and even designing and constructing a mini-Mars rover. The mission of the mini-grants program is to introduce more students to STEM subjects in a new and innovative way through hands-on classroom projects, ultimately resulting in a more tech-savvy workforce.

“This partnership enables Arizona teachers to bring their creative ideas to life in ways that will inspire students to explore science and technology,” said John Hatfield, APS Vice President of Communications.  “These teachers are providing students with experiences that could ignite their curiosity and create a lifelong passion for learning.”

Together, APS and the Phoenix Suns have awarded more than $600,000 in grants to kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers in public and charter schools in the APS service territory.

“Thanks to the STEM mini-grant program, our students will have the opportunity to take part in science experiments that otherwise would not be possible -- projects like launching a weather balloon into Earth’s stratosphere,” said Pinnacle High School science teacher and STEM mini-grant recipient, Mike Vargas.