Pima County’s pet shelter remains overcrowded

I was recently reminded that it is has now been one year of PACC operating in “Code Red,” which means we are using non-public kennels meant for temporary housing and disease isolation to house available, adoptable dogs. Why? Because the number of pets entering the shelter, specifically dogs, continues to outweigh the number of pets leaving. It’s a trend we are seeing this nationally, not just here in Tucson.

You may be asking yourself, “Why does this matter? If PACC has been able to operate this way for more than a year, is it really a crisis?” The answer is yes! Operating in crisis mode month after month takes a toll. Each month we inch closer and closer to “Code Blue,” which means we will need to give animals deadlines for leaving the shelter or euthanasia. The stress this puts on staff, not the mention the animals in our care, is difficult to put into words.

While this picture may seem hopeless, it is not! There are a number of things you can do to support PACC and break the cycle of more pets entering the shelter than leaving.

Adopt or foster. We always need adopters and fosters. Learn more at www.pima.gov/animalcare.

Leave ’em alone. If you see a healthy, friendly dog that is loose, but not in immediate danger (like running down a freeway or playing chicken with cars on Grant Road), be a Good Samaritan and leave it alone and/or look for its home, opposed to immediately bringing the dog to PACC. Most loose dogs are not lost. They know exactly where they are and will make their way back home, if they are not already in their front yard. Taking a healthy, friendly dog out of its neighborhood will more than likely result in that dog sitting at the shelter and not returning home and that family getting another dog. If we can keep that dog with its family, everyone wins! About 60% of PACC’s dog intake are loose dogs and 85% of those are picked up by people driving through a neighborhood and removing the pet from its home area.

#Share the Care! Help us reach even more people by sharing our social media posts, sharing posts from neighbors who are rehoming pets, and sharing neighbors’ lost and found posts! Besides Facebook and Nextdoor, you can sign up for lost and found alerts in your area through Pawboost and www.petcolove.lost so you can help reunite pets in your area.

License and chip that pet. Ensuring your pet can be identified and returned to you quickly will help keep space open at PACC for those animals that are not licensed/chipped. License your pet at pimacounty.docupet.com. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure that chip is registered! You can do it for free with FoundAnimals. Find low or no-cost microchip events at https://www.nokillpimacounty.org/.

While PACC is currently at critical capacity, we know that our community values lifesaving and will continue to be part of the solution.

Thank you, Pima County!

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