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Free adoptions for 'Clear the Shelter' event this holiday weekend

The bright lights and booms of fireworks tend to fill the human heart with child-like wonder and pumped up patriotism. For our four-legged friends, the heart is overcome by something very different. Terror.

During the week of Fourth of July, the Pima County Animal Care Center takes in an increased number of pets confused and freighted by the holiday activities. According to PACC, a total of 407 dogs and 140 cats were brought in from July 4 to 8 last year. 

In preparation for the expected increase of animals PACC is hosting a three-day, no cost adoption special to make extra space available.

"Clear the Shelter" will take place July 1- 3 at PACC on 4000 N. Silverbell Rd. and all four PetSmart adoption centers. During the event, all adoption and reservation fees will be waived and pets will leave the shelter with a full bill of health. All pets will receive basic vaccinations, a microchip, spay or neuter surgery and an additional vet visit for free.

Justin Gallick, PACC’s executive director of community engagement, said they expect to have about 300 pets available for adoption.

“We are hoping that the community responds to our plea and helps us clear the shelter in advance of the large influx of incoming pets after the fourth,” he said.

The shelter is open noon - 7 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. - 5p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Adoptable animals will be available at all PetSmart locations from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

PACC fosters an emphasis on responsible pet ownership and released tips for keeping newly adopted or long time pets safe during the Fourth of July.

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They also suggest a popular product for pet anxiety, the ThunderShirt. This cloth vest applies gentle, calming pressure to the animal wearing it.

For pet owners who can’t afford $40 for the vest, there is a DIY version a person can make from a scarf or piece of fabric. The tutorial was created by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society last year.

If your pet does go missing during the holiday, the PACC states the best way to locate them is to visit the shelter and look. Pet owners can also file a lost report with the PACC by calling 243-5900, ext. 3 or the Humane Society at 327-6088, ext. 111.

The following are websites that list found pets in the Tucson area.

PACC will waive all related boarding fees for people whose pets end up at the shelter between July 3-10, provided they allow PACC to spay or neuter their pet.

Given the anticipated influx of strays expected around the holiday and ongoing pre-construction work for the new facility, PACC officials want to get the word out that the shelter will reduce its intake of owner-surrendered pets from July 5 - 8 only to those in need of medical attention.

For more information on the PACC or to see some of their adoptable pets, visit their website.

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