Local man building dog sanctuary saves dogs from PACC’s euthanasia list
TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Taking in dogs with a rough past, Lucy’s Hope Sanctuary and Rescue have changed the fate of our furry friends, giving them a new leash on life.
The idea for Lucy’s Hope started in 2017 with Lucy herself.
Ben Garagozloo, owner and director of the rescue, walked into the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) one day and unexpectedly walked out with Lucy, his new adopted pet. Lucy was suffering from valley fever, but luckily, her new owner nursed her back to health.
However, during his trip to PACC, he noticed what the dogs there have to go through on a regular basis.
“Going through that experience, it kind of brought to light to me the way the shelter is, how many dogs are in need of a home and help,” said Garagozloo.
“That kind of sparked the whole idea of doing a rescue.”
Since adopting Lucy, Garagozloo has expanded his efforts to help other dogs, especially dogs on PACC’s euthanasia list.
Earning his non-profit status in 2019, Garagozloo slowly expanded the rescue, hiring a team to help with the animals and even taking in more dogs to stay with him at his home.
The rescue isn’t Garagozloo’s full-time job. He’s a dentist, clocking in at least 50 hours a week. And he’s financing the rescue and its needs all out of his pocket.
“There’s kind of a niche for this type of rescue, because of all the responsibility, expenses and everything else that comes along with kind of rescue of doing behavior dogs and more high-risk type of dogs,” says Garagozloo.
“There’s not a lot of rescues that are doing them. So I wanted to provide a service to the community to help and give back in that sense.”
Garagozloo’s latest step in expanding the rescue is starting construction on his 20-acre property that he purchased solely for the rescue.
The property was originally purchased in 2018, but due to the slow process of financing the property himself, along with the pandemic, phase one of his plan started just weeks ago.
The space will serve as a sanctuary and training center for the dogs. And extra space at the rescue means less stress on other organizations like PACC, that are experiencing severe issues with their dog capacity.
“It’s great for the dogs,” said Kayleigh Murdock, from PACC. “It’s great for the dogs here too because that’s one extra kennel that now is available for the incoming dogs. It’s just a win-win all around.”
Despite the financial stress and tackling two jobs at once, Garagozloo says he does it for the dogs.
“It can be challenging,” Garagozloo started, “but believe in the mission and I think we’re doing a lot of good, and I hope we can continue to grow and do more.”
To learn more about Lucy’s Hope and the dogs they have available for foster or adoption, click here.
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