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  • PACC to pilot a new range of services to keep animals with their families

    Jun 16, 2020 | Read More News
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    in the clinicPIMA COUNTY – Pima Animal Care Center is announcing the development of a new range of programs and services to the community designed to help keep pets with the people who love them, even in challenging times. This is part of a national initiative called Human Animal Support Services (HASS). The goals include helping struggling pet owners access resources to keep their pets; getting stray pets home quickly without them having to enter the shelter system, providing food and medical assistance; housing more pets in foster homes; providing telehealth assessments for people considering pet surrender due to medical reasons; and allowing the public to quickly access the shelter through text and e-mail exchanges. 

    “We know we can do better when it comes to getting pets home and keeping them with their families, and now we’ll have the support behind us to develop these services,” says PACC Director, Kristen Hassen. 

    The Human Animal Support Services (HASS) idea emerged during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought shelters from across the nation together to talk about how they could continue to operate even during shut downs. 

    “We realized we needed to do so much more to help animals where they live, instead of relying on bringing every single animal into the shelter. While we’re still taking in hundreds of animals each month, we’re also able to now ask struggling pet owners how we can help them keep their pets. Many want to, but just face barriers that we can help them overcome,” says Hassen. 

    The other cities piloting these programs include Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Diego, Fresno, El Paso, Oakland, Greenville (MO), Kansas City (MO), Cabot (AR), and Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC). 

    PACC has already implemented some of these programs, like the Pet Support Center, and will be working with community partners and donors to expand the services it offers to pet owners. The Pet Support Center is funded entirely through donations to the Friends of Pima Animal Care Center (Friends of PACC) and offers information and resources for low-cost veterinary services, spay/neuter options, low-cost vaccinations, rescue options (both breed-specific and all breed), housing options and solutions, training and behavioral information, domestic violence services, military deployment services, trap - neuter - return services, as well as the humane euthanasia services provided here at PACC. Call them at (520) 724-7222. To make a donation to continue funding this work, please head to friendsofpacc.org.

    Other programs, like telehealth, supported self-rehoming, and getting stray pets home services, will be new for PACC. PACC has already received grant funding from GreaterGood.org, Petco Foundation, Spring Point Foundation and others for some of these programs. 

    Information about the HASS project can be found at www.humananimalsupportservices.org. As a pilot shelter, PACC will receive ongoing support and training to implement these programs. The project is possible with support from Maddie’s Fund Family Foundation and several other national grant funding organizations. 

    “Because we are facing unprecedented challenges, we need bold, innovative solutions to help our community. We are committed to doing everything we can to support Pima County’s pets and people and to helping PACC become a community pet resource center,” says Hassen.