PACC seeing increase in demand for Safety Net Program

KOLD News 4-5 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 6:10 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Pima Animal Care Center is seeing an increase in the need for its Safety Net Program. The program aims to help people facing hardships such as evictions and who are unable to properly care for their pets.

According to the American Kennel Club, it can cost up to $15,000 throughout a dog’s lifetime to care for it. A number that’s only going up with inflation.

Kayleigh Murdock, public information officer for Pima Animal Care Center, said they’ve seen an increase in demand for the program. The program aims at helping keep pets at home, so they don’t have to be surrendered to a shelter.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in demand for this program. Especially as related to housing. Nearly 90% of the requests are from housing-related issues,” she said. “We see quite a few evictions. People who are maybe between places.”

She said PACC will take in the dog or cat and find a foster family to house it. This gives owners 90 days to land back on their feet, along with weekly check-ins in case the pets can go home early.

The hope is once the family has time to work things out, they can be reunited with their pet. Usually, there is a happy ending for everyone.

According to Murdock, a “vast majority” of people do come back to claim their pets. But she said sometimes they aren’t able to.

She added that in order to keep this program successful PACC is always looking for fosters to house these pets while their owners work to bring them back home.

You can learn more about fostering here.