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  • Pima Animal Care Center picking up 7,000 pounds of dog food from Utah animal sanctuary

    Jan 29, 2015 | Read More News
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    An official from Pima Animal Care Center and two fellow animal-welfare advocates are making a 900-mile round trip drive from Tucson to Kanab, Utah, to pick up 7,000 pounds of pet food donated by Best Friends Animal Society.

    Ray Velez with dog foodThe idea for the cooperative food adventure came at the Jan. 16 meeting of the Pima Alliance for Animal Welfare, an initiative of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. Twice a year, PAAW brings together stakeholders from the animal-welfare community. At the meeting, Ray Velez, Pima Animal Care Center’s operations coordinator, announced that Best Friends Animal Society had written him with an offer of thousands of pounds of high-quality pet food.

    Group members pooled their time and resources to take advantage of the donation. Velez would rent and drive a truck, and Pima County would cover his salary for the journey. Jan Pede of Saddlebrooke Pet Rescue Network said her group would pay for the gas, while Anne Morrison, senior services coordinator at Tucson Medical Center, kicked in $300 to help Velez with the truck rental. Katie Powers, of Spay and Neuter Solutions, said she and Petra Gearhart, a PAAC volunteer, would help Velez drive. Pat Hubbard, of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, got agreement from their neighbor, Ferguson Plumbing, to store the food.

    Representatives from the Animal Welfare Alliance of Southern Arizona said that once the food gets back to Tucson, their organization will set up a distribution schedule for nonprofit organizations that help pets. If you are with a nonprofit organization that helps pets, email your name, your organization’s name, and a contact phone number to to learn more.

    Velez said he couldn’t refuse the generous offer from Best Friends. “They contacted me and said they had thousands of pounds of food, but if we wanted it, we had to somehow figure out how to pick it up. I figured, I’m going to make this happen,” he said.

    “Best Friends Animal Society is very pleased to be able to help Pima Animal Care Center feed the dogs in their care,” said Liz Finch, senior manager of national programs for Best Friends Animal Society. “We are proud that they are one of the more than 1,100 rescue groups and animal shelters across the country that is a Best Friends® No More Homeless Pets® Network partner.”