Pima Animal Care Center teeming with animals before evictions resume

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) — As people get closer to the eviction moratorium, more and more pets are left without homes.

Despite the approximately 200 kennels and cohabitations at the Pima Animal Care Center, it is quickly running out of space.

“Right now we’re at about 550 dogs in the shelter ready for adoption,” PACC director Monica Dangler said.

On Thursday, August 12, she said, the shelter had about 700 people on site and another 800 in foster homes. Kennels and crates have been moved to the shelter lobby to provide space for more animals as they enter.

“We are really stretched. We don’t have any additional kennels open for animals that arrive immediately,” Dangler said.

Since January, she said, COVID-19 has led to a 30% increase in the number of people asking for help with their pets.

“Every time the eviction moratorium expired, we saw an increase in entries,” Dangler said.

The final eviction moratorium is due to expire Oct. 3, which means Dangler expects an influx of animals by then.

“We expect that in Pima County there will be approximately 7,000 people facing eviction who have pets,” Dangler said.

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

To help, PACC created the Safety Net Program, which allows community members to take in animals whose families are temporarily unable to care for them.

“That’s what we’re going to need in the face of this eviction crisis. We’re going to need safety net foster homes,” said PACC spokeswoman Nikki Reck.

Reck has fostered nearly 50 dogs over the years and currently serves as the Safety Net’s foster home.

“As far as fostering goes, it’s pretty easy because a lot of these animals are brittle. Few of them have medical cases. They just need a place to crash,” Reck said.

PACC desperately needs volunteers, foster families and adopters. And the shelter is always looking for donations like kennels, towels, food and toys.

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Benjamin M. Yerger