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  • PACC looking for “unicorn” adopters and fosters

    Jul 29, 2021 | Read More News
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    fosters neededPIMA COUNTY, July 29, 2021 – Pima Animal Care Center has continued to experience a high intake of animals at the shelter. In the last week, PACC has taken in 374 dogs and 261 cats.  The current number of dogs housed at the shelter is 492. The shelter is working hard to prevent running out of open kennels and having to put dogs in pop-up kennels again, but the shelter is close to needing to do that.

    “We don’t like having to make this plea over and over, but the truth is that we really are running out of space again,” said Monica Dangler, Director of Animal Services. “We often begin the day with 3-10 kennels available, and that’s before we open for the day to take in strays and owner surrenders.”

    There are a variety of things factoring into the lack of space including hoarding cases, high intake of stray pets, and pets that prefer to be alone while kenneled. Because of this, PACC is looking for “unicorn” adopters and fosters. A “unicorn home” is one that can take large breed dogs and where there are no other pets or children. Many of the PACC pets in need of a place to stay are looking for these type of homes. 

    “A ‘unicorn home’ is special because it’s rare,” said Dangler. “Many homes in Pima County have two to three pets, so finding one without any dogs or cats is tough. If you are a unicorn home, we need you! You can help save lives!”

    In hopes of finding these adopters, the shelter is offering a special adoption promotion through the rest of the month. Adult dogs weighing 40 pounds or more will have waived adoption fees. All adult cats will have waived adoption fees. A pet is considered an “adult” at PACC when they hit four months old. Puppies and kittens younger than that or dogs under 40 pounds will cost $50 each. A $20 licensing fee may apply to each adopted dog.

    For those “Unicorn” homes that may not be able to adopt full-time, fostering is a great option. Fostering just one dog for a while would benefit the pet in a variety of ways, including lowering their stress levels, learning about the pet’s behavior in a home environment to find a better fit for the future home, creating a quieter environment for the other dogs in the shelter and freeing up much needed kennel space for new arrivals.

    There are many ways people can help right now: 

    The Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University is partnering with Pima Animal Care Center to examine the effects of foster care on the welfare and behavior of dogs in shelters. With funding from Maddie’s Fund, the study will measure the cortisol and activity levels of dogs at PACC, prior to and following a weeklong stay in a foster home.  Help PACC learn about stress in shelter dogs through this short term foster study.

    Take the orientation:

    Take an in-need dog or cat home, learn about them and help market them.

    Schedule an appointment:

    Aid an ill or injured dog or cat through recovery in a home environment

    Schedule an appointment:

    Emergency/crisis foster for owned pets

    Email the safety net coordinator to get started: 

    Another way to help the shelter is to hang onto those friendly stray pets that show up in the neighborhood. Finders can text "FOUND" to (833) 552-0591 to get a link to file a report about the pet and get tips to find the owner. Studies show that lost pets tend to stay close to home and are typically found a few houses or streets away from their family. Pets also have a much higher chance of making it home if they stay in the area where they are found. If the finder needs supplies to care for the pet, PACC is more than happy to help supply what is needed. 

    “This is another area where we need help,” Dangler said. “If you have even just 48 hours to hold them, then that gives us some time to plan and move pets around to make room.”

    There are currently 682 pets in the shelter with another 747 in foster care. The shelter is still taking in around 75-100 pets every single day. People who want to help can adopt, foster, or make a donation to Friends of PACC, PACC’s official nonprofit partner. The shelter is open Monday to Friday, noon to 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.