The no-kill center is hoping to change the way people look at shelter animals.

A Chandler animal shelter is celebrating its 5,000th pet adoption.

PetMatch Adoption Center opened just four years ago in Chandler Fashion Center, but is already proving to be a success, said Marketing and Communications Manager Michael Morefield.

Morefield said the PetMatch Adoption Center used to be a “puppy mill store,” but now shelters dogs and cats for typically about a week before they get adopted, including by Ahwatukee families.

The no-kill center is hoping to change the way people look at shelter animals.

“Shelters are scary or loud or depressing, but that’s not always true. People think of shelter animals as sad and broken animals in cages,” said Morefield. “We get to show them that’s not true.”

PetMatch Adoption Center is an extension of the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA.

Morefield hopes people consider adopting rescue animals because it saves two lives—the rescue animal and the animal that now gets to fill that place in the shelter.

“You can rescue and still get that happy puppy or older dog you’re looking for, giving that dog a second chance,” Morefield said.

The PetMatch Adoption Center is showing the public that rescue shelters can be a bright, loving place for animals. Morefield said he hopes encouraging the adoption of rescue animals can help end pet stores.

“We’re trying to try to stop the influx of puppy mill dogs because of the terrible condition they’re raised in,” Morefield said.

The Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA will continue to house and care for shelter cats and dogs until they find their forever home.

Isaiah was the 5,000th animal to find his forever home. The pup spent some time in the main shelter for medical care before heading to the PetMatch Adoption Center.

Within a week, he was adopted by Leah Powell.

“He gets along very well with our other dogs,” Powell said, “He fits along nicely with our family.”

Powell said she found out about Isaiah on Love Pups Pet Rescue, an organization that promotes shelter dogs. She was searching for a dog for her son, Nicolas.

“They’re very much bonded already,” Powell said.

The Powell family has been adopting rescue animals for the last 20 years.

“It’s unfortunate because these dogs are not unwanted but they’re caught in unfortunate circumstances,” Powell said.

The Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA is run solely on grants and donations, with 88 percent of that going toward the animals, said Morefield.

The league sees around 450 volunteers a year.

Morefield said the shelter is always looking for help, whether people want to walk dogs, help in puppy classes or simply spend time with the animals.

“Get involved in rescue,” said Powell, “There’s so many dogs out there that need a second chance on life.”

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