The District 4 staff and I recently toured the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) to re-familiarize ourselves with the inner-workings of this unique facility.  PACC is the only open admission facility in Pima County, which means the facility does not turn away any feline or canine brought to its doors.

Upon arrival, my staff and I are greeted by friendly PACC employees. In the main kennel area, there is a range of dogs that includes everything from special needs adoptions to adoptable puppies. The special needs dogs usually have minor medical, physical, or behavioral challenges.  PACC offers surgeries and treatment for a wide range of illnesses, such as valley fever.  Also, PACC has recently begun a behavior modification program for dogs that have socialization issues to aid dogs that require help building confidence, are slightly aggressive, or are not responding well in the shelter. Every kennel has blankets and bedding and there is classical music playing on the intercom as we walk down the aisles, which has a calming effect on dogs.  Each dog in the facility gets walked 20-30 minutes every day to prevent “kennel craziness.”

Besides the main area, there are communal enclosures.  For instance, there is an area for puppies and younger dogs that are isolated for safety reasons.  Aside from the regular cat adoption rooms with kennels, there are also spaces where cats can roam freely with a large cat tree in the center of the room.  Spaces like this are for long-term cats that aren’t getting adopted right away.  Here, they have more room and can socialize more easily and tend to show better all-around, which increases the likelihood of them getting adopted sooner.

PACC is able to rescue pets in need and save lives because of the invaluable role volunteers play. PACC is always accepting new volunteers, and their roles are always evolving. People are able to help by becoming adoption hosts, dog walkers, cat socializers, groomers, outreach volunteers, or offering a hand in office support. Volunteers are the boots-on-the-ground element necessary in providing the best level of service to the community and its animals.

The take-away message from our PACC tour is: “Enrichment is important.” PACC is committed to providing the most comfortable environment for its inhabitants and saving the savable.

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