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Pima Animal Care Center overflowing with animals before evictions resume

KMSB News 9-10 p.m. recurring
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 10:11 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As people find themselves getting closer to the eviction moratorium, more and more pets are finding themselves without a home.

Despite the Pima Animal Care Center’s nearly 200 kennels and co-housing, it’s quickly running out of room.

“Right now we are at about 550 dogs in the shelter ready to be adopted,” said PACC director Monica Dangler.

On Thursday, Aug. 12, she said, the shelter had about 700 onsite and 800 more in foster homes. Kennels and crates have been moved into the shelter’s lobby to give space for more animals as they come in.

“We are really stretched thin. We don’t have any extra kennels open for animals that are immediately coming in,” Dangler said.

Since January, she said, COVID-19 has yielded a 30% rise in people requesting help for their pets.

“Each time the eviction moratorium came close to expiring, we would see a surge in intakes,” Dangler said.

The latest eviction moratorium is set to expire Oct. 3, meaning Dangler expects an influx of animals before then.

“We are expecting in Pima County there to be about 7,000 people that are struggling with eviction that have pets,” Dangler said.

As of Monday, August 9th, the Tucson Pima County Prevention Program had received 16,802 eviction prevention requests. The majority of those residents to have more than one pet, Dangler estimated.

To help, PACC created the safety net program, which allows community members to foster owned animals whose families are experiencing a temporary inability to provide care for them.

“This is what is going to be needed when it comes to this eviction crisis. We are going to need safety net fosters,” said PACC spokesperson Nikki Reck.

Reck has fostered nearly 50 dogs over the years and is serving as a safety net foster right now.

“As far as fostering goes, it’s kind of easy because a lot of these pets are house broken. Not many of them have medical cases. They just need a place to crash,” Reck said.

PACC is in desperate need of volunteers, fosters and adopters. And the shelter is always looking for donations like kennels, towels, food and toys.

Click here to get involved.

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