Adoption fees for adult pets at Pima Animal Care Center have been waived for the month of May as PACC has taken in nearly 700 animals in the past week.
“As soon as we get one animal out, three more come in its place,” said Monica Dangler, Interim Director of Animal Services. “We just need to clear out some kennels in order to keep up with what’s happening right now.”
Adopted dogs have a $20 license fee. Kittens and puppies still cost $50 each. The shelter is also waiving reclaim fees for owners whose pets get lost and wind up in PACC’s care.
If you can’t adopt, PACC also needs foster help. You can house a pet for a couple of weeks, and the shelter will help provide what you need for that pet. To get started, just head to pima.gov/foster.
TUCSON – Although jaguars are widely assumed to live exclusively in Mexico, Central and South America, they once prowled Arizona, New Mexico and Texas before colonizers and poachers in the 19th century drove most of these beautifully spotted big cats out of the U.S.
So when Ganesh Marin was studying ecosystems along the border U.S.-Mexico this year, the University of Arizona Ph.D. student wasn’t expecting to see a young jaguar sauntering in his video feed in mid-March.
The far-ranging jaguar has been on the endangered species list for nearly 20 years because of deforestation, ranching, farming and poaching, and experts estimate only 15,000 are left in the wild globally. But there now is a glimmer of hope that Panthera onca – the largest cat in the Americas and a creature venerated in many Indigenous cultures – might one day return to its range in the U.S. Southwest.
“The goal of my research was not originally to find any jaguars,” Marin told Cronkite News. “I was working with my graduate adviser to observe the ecosystems that lived along the border and see how the diversity of those systems changed.”
Marin’s observations were meant to identify the ecosystem’s key players, and the young jaguar, despite being an unexpected variable, showed a potentially much bigger picture.
PHOENIX – Nationwide lockdowns in the past year have driven demand for companionship from man’s best friend during the pandemic, and shelters across the country have seen spikes in dog adoptions and fosters. But some pricey and popular canines are being ripped away from their intended forever homes and sold to unsuspecting buyers.
It’s known as dog-flipping, a phenomenon that drew widespread attention after pop star Lady Gaga’s dog walker was shot and wounded and her two French bulldogs were stolen in February, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The dogs were returned after the performer offered $500,000 as a reward, and the investigation continues into whether thieves targeted Gaga or just her valuable Frenchies.
Because pets are legally viewed nationwide as personal property, dog thieves generally have little to lose.
In Phoenix, dog theft reports are on the rise. In 2019, 137 pets were reported stolen, Sgt. Andy Williams told Cronkite News. In 2020, that number jumped to 155.
“Animals and pets are considered property, so with regards to theft there are no unique laws” for pet abductions, he said.
According to pet detective Karin TarQwyn, French bulldogs and other small breeds have become desirable over the past two to three years. A quick search on Craigslist shows asking prices for a Frenchie range from $4,000 to $10,000.
“The least amount of money that we’ve been able to use to get a French bulldog back (to its rightful owner) is $3,500,” said TarQwyn, who has worked full time to assist in locating and recovering missing pets since 2005. “And people are willing to pay the price because they are desperate.”
The Humane Society of Southern Arizona has made it to the championship round in March Muttness 2021.
Voting started on Saturday and continues through Tuesday vs. Ten Lives Club in Blasdell, N.Y.
HSSA defeated another Tucson entity, The Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter, outraising it $5,267 to $5,129.
In earlier rounds, HSSA defeated Your Humane Society SPCA in Lake Panasoffkee, Fla., $12,322 to $11,855, in the Excellent Eight; Animal Care Sanctuary in East Smithfield, Penn., $17,274 to $13,039, in the Sensational 16; and Special Pals Shelter of Houston, Texas, in the Thrilling 32, $3,986 to $952. The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is competing against 31 other animal shelters across the country in this year's March Muttness, Feb. 27-March 24.
Winners advance depending on how much money is donated to each organization. You can donate here. Winners advance to the next round, and voting continues.
Pima Animal Care Center is encouraging pet owners to vaccinate their pets after two dogs scuffled with a coatimundi that's now under quarantine for rabies observation.
One of the dogs was not current with its vaccinations so it, too, will be quarantined.
“It’s never fun to have to tell a pet owner about the required quarantine,” said Monica Dangler, Interim Director of Animal Services. “Then, we have to tell them about the costs of taking care of their pet while on that quarantine. We don’t like this part of the job.”
Rabies vaccines are required by law because domestic pets can contract rabies and distemper if they encounter infected wildlife. Pets can be held for up to 120 days to determine whether they've been infected.
“All of this stress and difficulty can be avoided by keeping your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations," said Christina Snow, Animal Protection Services manager. No dog should have to live in a kennel for four months. Please vaccinate your animals.”
If your domestic animal comes in contact with wildlife, take your animal to the vet and get a rabies booster. Then call Animal Protection at (520) 724-5900 and press option 4.
PHOENIX – A team of researchers at Petrified Forest National Park east of Holbrook have discovered fossilized remains of a new species of prehistoric reptile. The 220-million-year old burrowing reptile is a drepanosaur, an ancient reptile that had a claw on its tail and a birdlike beak.
Researchers, who named the species Skybalonyx skapter, announced the discovery Oct. 8.
Originally, drepanosaurs were thought to have lived in the trees that grew lush in prehistoric Arizona, but Bill Parker, a paleontologist with Petrified Forest National Park, said Skybalonyx skapter suggests something else.
“The new one, we think, is actually what they call fossorial, so it actually dug in the ground and burrowed,” Parker said. Researchers suspect the claw on the tail, as well as elongated claws on the reptile’s second fingers, helped it dig for bugs to eat.
Skybalonyx was discovered by a group of summer interns from Arizona State University, Virginia Tech, the University of Washington and other colleges who teamed with park researchers to scour an area of the park known as Thunderstorm Ridge.
WASHINGTON – State and federal officials have agreed on a plan that includes bringing in volunteer sharpshooters to cut the number of bison on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Lethal removal has long been discussed as a way to reduce the herd, along with hazing and relocation, but the Sept. 25 agreement between the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the National Park Service clears a path for it to begin as soon as next year.
Scott Poppenberger, Flagstaff regional supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said “the lethal removal component is a big part of this recent agreement,” and believes that the measures to reduce the population will help provide balance to the damaged ecosystem.
It comes amid growing concerns from the public and the park service about the impact the nonnative bison have on natural resources, and worries that they could pose a danger to park visitors.
The animals, descended from early 20th-century attempts to cross-breed cattle and bison, have proliferated in the Grand Canyon National Park, where they currently cannot be hunted. The goal of the agreement is to reduce the current herd of 400 to 600 bison to as few as 200, which would do less damage to the environment.