Struggling Due To COVID-19, Pima Animal Care Center Asks For Help

·2 min read

TUCSON, AZ — Pima Animal Care Center is asking for your help as it struggles with a critical staff shortage caused by COVID-19, according to a news release.

The center asked members of the public to help decrease its shelter population by either adopting an animal or committing to fostering a pet for at least two weeks.

As of Thursday the shelter was looking for 300 people to serve as emergency foster pet parents.

Almost 100 animals were adopted out or fostered Thursday after the center published its plea for help, but the shelter also took in 50 pets from emergency cases that day, according to a Facebook post from the center. On Friday the shelter was still look to get 200 more dogs out of the shelter.

“We’ve been at capacity since June and now we are hitting a critical low in staffing due to the contagiousness of the Omicron variant,” Monica Dangler, the center's director of animal services, said in a news release. “Like many other businesses right now, we are seeing staff members getting sick despite being vaccinated, so we need to drastically reduce the number of pets in the shelter to be able to provide proper care.”

The shelter is continuing to conduct adoptions and to send out animal protection officers to emergency calls, but as of Thursday was only taking in animals on an emergency basis.

“Every day we take in more pets than are getting adopted,” Dangler said. “Weeks and weeks of this has led to a shelter full of pets. It was difficult before but now it’s beyond difficult.”

The center asks that people who find friendly stray pets consider fostering them for two weeks, until shelter staffing is expected to be closer to normal.

Adoption fees are currently waived at the shelter and it's open special hours this weekend in hopes of facilitating more adoptions.

Friday hours are noon-9 p.m. and Saturday hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

This article originally appeared on the Tucson Patch

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