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  • PACC gets $150,000 to create Community Resource Center

    Jun 24, 2020 | Read More News
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    picture of a dog PIMA COUNTY –Spring Point Partners is awarding Pima Animal Care Center a $150,000 grant. The funds will be dedicated to further expanding the shelter’s foster program, creating a system to reduce pets’ length of stay in shelter and get them to foster and adoptive homes more quickly. The grant has been donated to Friends of Pima Animal Care Center, PACC’s official nonprofit partner.

    “The goal is to provide better, faster service to our community and to more quickly get pets from the shelter to foster homes,” said Kristen Hassen, the Director of Animal Services. “Even though we have one of the best shelters when it comes to care and enrichment, the kennel environment is still stressful on cats and dogs. This will help us get them into loving homes faster until they find their permanent homes.”

    There have been several studies that show pets in foster care are healthier and happier. Back in February, one of PACC’s staff members spent a week in a kennel, learning firsthand just how stressful and loud it can be in the shelter.

    Currently, PACC is housing 608 pets in foster homes and has already increased the percentage of animals being housed in foster in order to reduce the number of people gathering at PACC and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

    “Throughout the pandemic, we have taken in 25-45 pets every single day,” Hassen said. “We expect that number to increase as the busy puppy and kitten summer season continues. Our incredible foster community is helping us to save lives and keep people safe during this unprecedented time.”  

    With the funds from this grant, Friends of PACC will hire a Program Manager to oversee the intake-to-foster program. They will aim to send most pets to foster homes within 72 hours of arriving at PACC, and will work to increase the number of volunteers who help make the foster program a success.  

    The funds will also fund a One Health Research Coordinator. This position will work hand-in-hand with the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health One Health Program to develop and direct students to answer critical research questions related to foster care and animal welfare and will study the impacts of increased community engagement. 

    “Students in the One Health program have worked with PACC for over two years on a variety of projects,” said Kristen Pogreba-Brown, PhD, MPH Faculty Lead of the One Health Master’s of Public Health Program at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. “However, our ability to conduct additional research or program evaluation has been hampered by everyone simply being so busy doing their primary jobs. The position will improve students’ access to data and more importantly, embed someone who will know the daily challenges PACC faces and what research questions are of highest priority to the organization.” 

    The remaining grant will allow Friends of Pima Animal Care Center to cover foster supplies, training support, medical care for foster pets and more. For anyone who wants to contribute to the growth of this new fostering model, they can make a donation at friendsofpacc.org.

    Friends of PACC is the official nonprofit partner to Pima Animal Care Center, and relies on grants and individual donations to support the life-saving work of the shelter. 

    “We are so grateful for this generous gift from Spring Point Partners, and are dedicated to continuing our support to PACC as it pivots to best serve our incredible community,” says Tammi Barrick, Board Chair for Friends of PACC. 

    To make an appointment to foster a pet, visit the PACC website at pima.gov/animalcare and follow PACC social media accounts to stay on top of the ever-changing situation. 

    For information about local impacts of coronavirus on humans and guidance for keeping yourself and others healthy, please follow the dedicated page on the Pima County Health Department website: www.pima.gov/covid19.