Thursday, May 7, 2020

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2020 at 3:00 PM

The Pima Animal Care Center and Friends of PACC have $15,000 in the bank to help cover veterinary expenses for those who qualify for aid after a donation from the Banfield and South Fork foundations.

Pets living in a home facing financial hardship will benefit from the funding through the shelters assistance program.

“PACC now has an opportunity to help people and pets impacted by COVID,” said director Kristen Hassen. “We are here to help pets owned by people who have gotten sick or faced financial distress in this unprecedented event.”

Funding will provide aid for those facing hardship due to illness, job loss, financial insecurity or any other challenge related to COVID-19. Referrals for aid are made through the shelter’s partner groups, and PACC hopes to expand its pilot program as more funding becomes available.

During the pandemic, PACC is only allowing residents to enter the shelter by appointment. For more information, visit

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge JACQUELINE KUDER
Jacqueline Kuder
Shocking videos of dairy farmers dumping thousands of gallons of milk have been circulating on the internet, as the coronavirus outbreak has forced dairy farmers across the country to dump their excess milk supply to offset their losses and keep prices stable.

Arizona dairy farmers have taken part in this dumping process to help stay afloat. With demand for milk down from stay at home orders shutting down schools and restaurants, farmers are trying to reduce surpluses they can’t afford to produce and hold onto, while also maintaining prices for consumers. Cooperatives, including the United Dairymen of Arizona, have been working to help their farmers survive.

“We have about 12 million pounds of milk a day and we’re dumping about a million a day,” said Keith Murfield, CEO of the United Dairymen of Arizona.

The co-op is losing about $160,000 a day by dumping milk from approximately 70 member farms, Murfield said. The milk, however, is not being entirely wasted in the dumping process and is being run through digesters that convert it into such products as gas and electricity in some places. Other excess milk is fed to the cows and young livestock.

“You just can’t dump it on the ground, you got to be careful where you put it,” Murfield said.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 2:04 PM

click to enlarge COURTESY REID PARK ZOO
Courtesy Reid Park Zoo
In the early morning hours of Thursday, April 9, the staff at the Reid Park Zoo performing rounds discovered three adult meerkats huddled around squirming legs—the excited gesticulations of five newborn pups.

The meerkats are the first-ever of the species born at the zoo and came only three days after the zoo announced the birth of a 295-pound African elephant calf.

“We are proud of our new little family and can’t wait for the pups to make their public debut,” said Nancy Kluge, president, and CEO of Reid Park Zoo, in a statement.

According to the zoo, meerkat pups are largely helpless for the first few weeks of life because they are born with both eyes shut ears and very little hair. Adults share child-rearing roles.

According to Animal Care Supervisor Adam Ramsey, all three adults, who are also first-time parents, are “doing an excellent job of parenting.”

“Both females are nursing, grooming and cuddling the babies to keep them warm,” Ramsey said.

The species arrived at the zoo in 2017 as part of a breeding recommendation in cooperation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Meerkats are a member of the mongoose family and are found in the desert and grasslands of Africa.

Even though the zoo is closed to the public, you can still check in on the animals through virtual visits on the Reid Park Zoo’s social media accounts and at

Friday, April 10, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2020 at 3:10 PM

click to enlarge Ella Levin stands with her steer she raised at her family's home as a part of her 4-H training. The 1,200-pound steer will be sold at the upcoming PCJLSI online auction with the majority of the proceeds going to the 14-year-old and her family. - COURTESY PHOTO
Courtesy photo
Ella Levin stands with her steer she raised at her family's home as a part of her 4-H training. The 1,200-pound steer will be sold at the upcoming PCJLSI online auction with the majority of the proceeds going to the 14-year-old and her family.
A local charity is helping youth members of Pima County 4-H and Future Farmers of America after their annual livestock auction moved online when this year’s Pima County Fair was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Los Charros Foundation Inc. is purchasing $25,000 worth of small and large livestock from members of the two groups at this year’s online auction, hosted by the Pima County Junior Livestock Sales Inc. The foundation typically spends about $5,000 at Southern Arizona county fairs in Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise counties, said board member Richard Bratt. After this year’s Pima County Fair was canceled Bratt said he knew the organization had to do more.

“This year, we’re reallocating $25,000 from our scholarship fund because these kids didn’t get to have the Pima County Fair where they could auction,” Bratt said. “These kids are getting hurt after spending all year and spending their own money buying feed and supplies.”

Bratt said he was concerned local 4-H and FFA youth would ultimately be losing money typically used for their higher education after recouping feed and supply cost accrued raising the animal.

“Some of these kids are selling a pig for $1,800 or a steer might go anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000. These kids might lose out on all that money,” Bratt said.

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Monday, April 6, 2020

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 1:57 PM

The Reid Park Zoo announced the addition of its newest animal Monday afternoon after African elephant matriarch Semba gave birth to a new calf at 3:30 a.m.

The female calf weighed 295 pounds at birth. The zoo said she is “healthy, standing and nursing.”

“Semba is an experienced mother,” said Dr. Sue Tygielski, Director of Zoological Operations, in the announcement. “After 22 long months of gestation, she had smooth labor without any complications. As African elephants continue to face increasing challenges in the wild, each birth contributes to the global population and sustainability of this vulnerable species. Today, the birth of this calf gives us cause for celebration at Reid Park Zoo, and it gives us optimism for the future.”

The new calf is the sixth member of Reid Park Zoo’s elephant herd and joins Semba, father Mabu, female Lungile, nine-year-old brother Sundzu and little sister Nandi, who turns six this summer. The calf is the second African elephant born at the zoo. Nandi was born in 2014.

The herd has already met their newest member and will take the next few days getting to know her.

“Semba is an excellent mom, and she has had close and nurturing interaction with the calf,” Tygielski said. “Elephant births are exciting but also a test of patience for staff and the elephant mom.”

The zoo began observing breeding behavior between Semba and Mabu in late spring of 2018 and soon found out the former was pregnant. The zoo crew has been on a 24-hour baby watch for the last seven weeks.

“This is a great day for Reid Park Zoo, and really, a beacon of hope,” said Nancy Kluge, Reid Park Zoological Society President, and CEO. “Coming during this challenging time in the world, this baby elephant is a symbol of the beauty and resilience of life for so many. We are just thrilled for Semba and the whole herd. We are grateful to our community for following Semba’s pregnancy, especially while the Zoo has been closed. We look forward to the day when we can welcome the public back to Reid Park Zoo to help us celebrate the joy of this new baby and our elephant herd.”

Check-in on the newest elephant in Tucson for yourself by following her webcam at

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge TARA FOULKROD
Tara Foulkrod
For many of us, our pets are like our family. And just like family, we like to do all we can to keep them healthy and safe. In this time of uncertainty, we shouldn't forget our pets when it comes to what to do in an emergency, should we have one.

That's exactly the message being put out by area shelters - Pima Animal Care Center, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, and The Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter.

They suggest having a plan for an emergency (which isn't a bad idea to have whether there's a pandemic or not) so that your beloved pet doesn't end up in a shelter, scared and alone.

The following are the three biggest tips on how to have an Emergency Plan for your pets:

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Humans aren’t the only ones suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic: There are furry friends out there that need a helping hand.

In an effort to fill food bowls for those facing hardship, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona is hosting a pet food donation drive this Friday and Saturday. Donations go to the organization’s monthly distribution program.

If you’re looking to help out, donations of unopened food can be made from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 at either the main campus (635 W. Roger Road) or the HSSA Thrift Store (5311 E. Speedway Blvd.)

Though the two facilities are accepting donations, the thrift store is closed during the pandemic, and the main campus is only open for appointments.

“At HSSA we are proud of the fact that we serve pets and the people who love them,” said HSSA CEO Steve Farley. “Now is the time for us to come together to help those in need. We hope you will join us in easing the burden of community members in crisis by keeping
their pets fed in the upcoming weeks.”

Aside from pet food donations, the Humane Society is also accepting monetary donations to help fund its operations. Donations can be made online at

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Feb 26, 2020 at 2:33 PM

Raise a glass in support of animal conservation at Reid Park Zoo’s fourth annual Wine Gone Wild, which returns to town Saturday, April 25 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The wine tasting and food pairing event benefits the zoo’s operations and will help “provide quality animal care through innovative medicine and enrichment and to inspire the next generation through conservation and educational programs.”

Wines and spirits will be provided by local and international wineries, distilleries and distributors, and will be paired with finger food from local eateries.

Other activities include wine glass painting, meeting ambassador animals and plenty of live music.

Pre-sale tickets are $65 per person and $60 for Zoo members. Designated drivers get in for $25. VIP Packages are $125 per person (only 30 VIP tickets available). Day-of event regular admission tickets will be sold at the door for $75 per person and $70 for Zoo members. Buy tickets online at

The VIP “Winos for Rhinos” package will include an opportunity to meet one of the zoo’s white rhinos and a special T-shirt and bottle of wine. VIP guests also start the night at 5:30 p.m.

Guests at Wine Gone Wild must be 21 and older only with valid photo ID.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Posted By on Tue, Feb 25, 2020 at 3:19 PM

click to enlarge The newest tamandua pup at Reid Park Zoo. - COURTESY PHOTO
Courtesy photo
The newest tamandua pup at Reid Park Zoo.
The Reid Park Zoo is tending to a baby tamandua after the male pup began to grow sluggish and lose more weight than is normal post-birth.

The pup was born on Dec. 21, 2019 and is the third pup Xochi the tamandua has given birth to.

Though he was born healthy and active in his first few days of life, several days later his health began to decline. Animal care staff stepped in to provide extra feedings for the baby tamandua and continue to administer care to the young animal. Several times a day, the team bring the pup into the Zoo’s Health Center for a feeding. He's weighed before and after each feeding, and veterinarian Dr. Roth performs a physical exam to make sure the pup's health is good.

The pup, who has not been named by staff yet, is currently at a normal weight and continues to improve. The animal care team will keep providing him extra food and nutrients.

Tamanduas are a member of the anteater genus and are often, unfortunately, taken illegally from their habitats and sold as exotic pets.

The Reid Park Zoo views their tamanduas, who live behind the scenes at the zoo, as animal ambassadors, serving as a reminder of the plight of tamanduas in the illegal exotic pet trade.

Sometimes the zoo features tamanduas during animal presentations at the Conservation Learning Center, education programs and behind-the-scenes tours at the Zoo.

For more information on the Reid Park Zoo, visit

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Posted By on Mon, Feb 24, 2020 at 11:27 AM

“Meow! My name is Maurine and I’m am easy, low energy girl who will talk your ear off! I love people, and I love attention. I just want to be pet and loved on all the time. I came to HSSA as a stray, but all my paws are declawed so I need to be an indoor cat only. HSSA thinks I’m about 8 years old. I will sit in your lap and purr all day if you let me! Come meet me at 635 W. Roger Rd or call for more information at (520) 327-6088 ext 173.”

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