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Arizona’s Heart & Sol: PACC volunteer helps dogs become more adoptable

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 7:47 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A long term volunteer at Pima Animal Care Center is helping our furry friends become more adoptable, making her this week’s Heart and Sol recipient.

Jan Pede is part of PACC’s TOP Dogs team, a volunteer project dedicated to saving, rehabilitating, and re-homing savable dogs that need training. She’s been volunteering at PACC for 14 years and she spends roughly 20 to 30 hours every week helping out.

“It’s really the central focus of what I do right now. It’s definitely impacted my life and also opened my eyes,” she said.

Pede works one on one with dogs like Brennan, who need a little extra help before they can be adopted.

“We concentrate mainly on making the dogs adoptable. So, what we’re looking for is a good loose leash wash, a nice exit from the kennel, and a polite greeting to other people when you approach,” she explained.

TOP Dogs also works with dogs who are fearful or have other behavioral issues. Pede’s dog, Duffy, was of the first fear cases to get out of PACC and into a forever home.

Nikki Reck, PACC’s public information officer says Pede and TOP dogs has helped save so many lives throughout the years.

“Jan is an amazing volunteer. We are really lucky to have her and the rest of the top dogs team. They have really helped some more of our shut down dogs figure out the way to communicate,” she said.

So far, top dogs has worked with about 450 dogs, but the impact goes a lot farther.

“I would think that the number is actually much higher than that because those of us who have done the top dogs training or talked to them about advice for stuff, we apply that to other dogs if we think it’s going to work. That’s got to be thousands of dogs,” Reck said.

For anyone who wants to lend a helping hand to PACC, they are always looking for volunteers and fosters.

If you know someone who embodies the “Heart and Sol” of Tucson, nominate them here.

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