PACC expecting hundreds of dogs to be brought in after New Year’s fireworks

Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 6:18 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A weekend full of firework celebrations has led to many lost across Tucson.

Some have ended up at the Pima Animal Care Center, which is already at capacity and has a euthanasia list prepared for when space is critical.

Some of the dogs on PACC’s euthanasia list have been adopted or fostered, but there are still 14 dogs on that list at risk.

PACC started Monday with more than 470 dogs in the shelter, but they’re expecting to see hundreds more come in this week. This could lead to overcrowded kennels and more dogs could end up on that list.

″We already got 31 dogs in yesterday and we’re expecting to just see more this week,” said PACC spokesperson Kayleigh Murdock. “Generally, after the week of New Year’s, we see several hundred pets come in stray just because they have been spooked by those fireworks.”

PACC has been facing critical capacity for much of the year, but the New Year has brought an influx of dogs at the shelter. If the shelter gets up to 500 dogs or more this week, some could be euthanized due to a lack of kennel space.

The last time that happened at PACC was 2016.

″We need to be sure that we’re adopting and fostering out lots of dogs this week, as well as returning them to their owners in order to make sure that our census doesn’t spike the way it has in recent times,” Murdock said.

They’re hoping the public will lend a helping hand and they won’t have to euthanize any of the dogs because of space.

On Monday, the shelter saw people flooding in either looking for their missing dogs or turning in dogs they found.

Michelle and Eliana Fritch came into PACC Monday looking for their 5-year-old chihuahua Cardi. They believe she was spooked by fireworks and escaped through their fence.

″My mom’s really sad about her. I know she’s scared,” Michelle Fritch said. “She’s not the type of dog that just likes anybody. It takes her a lot of time to warm up to somebody.”

After looking all over social media and on animal shelter websites, they finally got some good news.

″We found her. She’s here,” Michelle said.

But many dogs are still waiting for their owners. PACC is asking anyone who finds a dog this week to try and find its owner before bringing it in. Most times, the dogs don’t get far away from their home.

If your dog is lost and you’ve already checked all of the shelters and on social media, the important thing is to keep checking.

Just because they aren’t here today, doesn’t mean they won’t show up tomorrow or the day after that.

PACC is expecting people to be bringing in dogs all week who got lost during the fireworks.