Many people in Tucson have found themselves either working from home, attending classes from home or staying home with their children during the COVID-19 emergency. The Pima Animal Care Center hopes some will use this as an opportunity to foster a pet from their shelter, which has seen a rapid increase in animals as adoptions slow down but strays keep coming in.
PACC took in 1,600 pets in April 2019. If that number were to happen again this year, they will definitely run out of space in their facility located at 4000 N. Silverbell Road.
Fostering an animal would not only allow room for other animals to be saved and sheltered within the care center, but would allow an animal who already experienced the stressful environment of the pound to get some peace and quiet.
PACC said people can visit their foster webpage
to learn how to sign up to be an on-deck foster. The shelter will review participants' information and call once they find a pet that would be a good match for them. Once a match has been determined, PACC will arrange a curbside pick-up of the foster pet.
“We are preparing for the ongoing impact of increased intakes due to COVID-19 and the busy puppy and kitten season which is just a week or two away,” said Director of Animal Services Kristen Hassen, in a press release. “If the community acts now, we can prevent overcrowding in the near future. We’re keeping the numbers of people in any given area small, and we’re cleaning and sanitizing several times each day to prevent the spread of disease.”
Right now, PACC is accepting stray or surrendered pets on an emergency-only basis and they're trying to keep the number of animals in the shelter as low as possible, in anticipation of the coming weeks. The shelter is asking owners who want to surrender their pets to hold onto them during this time, unless it's a true emergency.
To prevent unnecessary surrendering of pets, PACC urges all pet owners to make a plan for their furry friends in case they get sick and need to be hospitalized. People should be asking family members, neighbors or friends if they could care for their pets if they happen to be hospitalized.
“This is an unprecedented event, and we need the community to come together to help us save lives,” Hassen said.
All pets that are adopted will come spayed or neutered, with age-appropriate vaccinations, a microchip and a free vet visit. A $20 licensing fee is applied to all dogs. PACC is open Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit their website
for more information.