Anne, it is wonderful of you, your husband, and all the other people that take stray animals in and try to find homes for them. I shudder when I think what would happen to them otherwise. Unfortunately, I live in an apartment complex and we're only allowed one pet (and pay an unbelievable amount of "pet rent" a year).
The animal services around Phoenix are horrible. Two weeks ago, a dog belonging to a woman I work with somehow got out of the house. Even though the dog had tags and didn't bite anyone while out, he was found by the police and taken to the county animal shelter. The shelter contacted the family and informed them the dog had to be quarantined for 10 days. The family went down every day to visit the dog, and even brought some of his toys and belongings down to him so he wouldn't be too homesick.
They went to pick him up on the appointed day and were told that he had "accidentally" been euthanised. Apparently there was a "mix-up" in the paperwork and several of the wrong animals had been put down. The family was completely devastated.
The family has contacted several agencies and legal firms to try to find ways to keep this from happening again, but AZ doesn't recognize pets as anything more than personal property. If you don't have a receipt showing the animal's worth, to them it's worthless. The family is not looking for any monetary compensation, they just want to make sure this doesn't happen to someone else (she had her 3 children with her when she went to pick up the dog and they just blurted out the situation in front of the kids).
She's trying to find a way to bring suit against the shelter, but with the state's laws it's going to be tough. They've decided that if they do get a monetary settlement they will donate the money to one of the national Animal Rights organizations.
So again, thanks to all of you who are able and willing to take animals in. Even our own animals are not safe, not mention the poor homeless ones.