TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Pima Animal Care Center plans to hold drive-thru food distribution centers for pet owners impacted by COVID-19. GreaterGood.org donated the food to Friends of Pima Animal Care Center, PACC’s official nonprofit partner. The drive-thru event will be called the “GreaterGood.Org PACC Pet Program.”
PACC staff and volunteers will hand out Ziploc gallon bags of pet food to people facing hardship because of COVID-19. This can be due to illness, job loss, financial insecurity, or any other challenges related to the pandemic.
“It’s a tough time for many families who have suffered job loss, illness or who have been otherwise impacted by COVID-19,” says PACC Director Kristen Hassen. “With support from GreaterGood.org, we are going to be doing our part to help provide much-needed food for their pets."
The drive-thru line will take place in Pima Animal Care Center’s main parking lot every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday morning from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., to avoid the intense heat of the day. People will drive into the lot from the main entrance at the light off Silverbell and Sweetwater where volunteers and staffers will be waiting with food.
Drivers will exit out of the north entrance. This begins on Sunday, May 10. The pet food will be handed out on a first come, first serve basis. People attending the drive-thru are encouraged to wear a face mask when receiving food.
“We are honored to partner with PACC and support their lifesaving programs throughout Pima County,” says Liz Baker, CEO of GreaterGood.org. “Community support is critical during this crisis and PACC is leading the way and providing much needed support for people and their pets.”
Cody's Friends is also helping pet owners in need. Because of the Tucson community’s support of the Cody’s Donation Station Program in over 35 local businesses, and their partnership with the Southern Arizona Community Food Bank, Cody’s Friends is able to support over 100 human and animal welfare organizations in Southern Arizona. People can contact Cody’s Friends by emailing Codyscommunitypets@gmail.com.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, there is currently no evidence that people can get COVID-19 from pets. However, it is possible for pets to potentially catch the illness from an infected person. People who are sick should avoid being around people and pets. Now is the time for pet owners to start making plans for their pets in case they get sick. PACC recently sent a news release with details on how to make the best plan.
The shelter is currently taking in 20-40 pets in need every day. Because of this, PACC is asking the public for help regarding healthy, friendly stray pets. Finders are encouraged to file a found report and hold the pet to give the owner time to locate their pet and reduce the number of pets coming into the shelter. Lost pets are often found close to their homes. Keeping area shelters free of long-term care animals allows them to be better prepared for the onset of kitten and puppy season as well as the ongoing need to respond to cruelty, neglect and other animals who are in immediate danger or have emergency needs.
PACC has also changed their day-to-day operations. People must now have an appointment in order to come to the shelter. To make an appointment, read up on the current procedure at pima.gov/animalcare and on the PACC social media accounts to stay on top of the ever-changing situation.
For information about local impacts of coronavirus on humans and guidance for keeping yourself and others healthy, please follow the dedicated page on the Pima County Health Department website: www.pima.gov/covid19.