19 dogs remain on euthanasia list as Pima Animal Care Center faces overcrowding & disease outbreak
The Pima Animal Care Center is asking people to adopt any of the 19 dogs still on a list of those facing being put down, as the shelter is facing critical overcrowding and the spread of a deadly respiratory disease for dogs.
A day after announcing 20 dogs were at risk of being euthanized for space, PACC representatives said 19 remain after one was adopted. The county animal shelter faces critical capacity issues along with an outbreak of strep zoo, a respiratory disease that can be deadly for dogs.
The shelter has been overcrowded for most of the year and currently houses more than 500 dogs, which “is 40-50% more dogs than the shelter would ideally house,” according to a Thursday press release.
To provide more space in the shelter and lessen the spread of strep zoo, the shelter picked 20 dogs that "require more resources to be able to place in an appropriate home" and put them on the euthanasia list on Thursday. The dogs will be put to sleep if the shelter's population “is not sharply reduced over the next few days,” according to PACC.
“We have reached a point at PACC where we will have to begin making difficult decisions about euthanizing when kennel space is unavailable for incoming dogs.” said county Animal Services Director Monica Dangler.
No hard deadline is set to euthanize the listed dogs. It depends on kennel space at any given time, a PACC spokesperson said. If the shelter get another 20 dogs on Monday, for example, it will likely have to euthanize dogs the next day to make space.
All the dogs on the list are available for immediate adoption, foster or rescue. All adoptions from PACC are currently free, and if you are able to foster, the shelter provides all necessary equipment and medical care for the dog.
PACC, 4000 N. Silverbell Rd., is open from noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. The shelter will be open normal hours on Christmas Eve but be closed for Christmas on Sunday.
While PACC dramatically expanded in recent years, and has been able to operate without euthanizing dogs for space reasons, the packed kennels at the shelter leave officials with little choice, they said.
Adopting or fostering any dog from the shelter, not just those on the list, “will relieve space and stress concerns and can potentially save a dog’s life,” Dangler said. Euthanisia is more likely to take place if the shelter runs out of kennel space, a PACC spokesperson said, but with no hard deadline set, any adoption could affect any of the 19 remaining dogs on list and their chances of staying alive.
Because of a large amount of calls coming into the shelter, PACC is prioritizing in-person adoptions. The shelter recommends people also stop by in person to ask about pets at PACC, adoptions, or fostering.
The shelter lists more pets that are up for adoption or fostering as well as other services that they offer on their website.
Bennito L. Kelty is TucsonSentinel.com’s IDEA reporter, focusing on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access stories, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.