/ Modified dec 16, 2021 1:55 p.m.

Pima Animal Care Center is overcrowded, asking community to help with strays

The center also says that when done responsibly, it's OK to give a new pet as a holiday gift

PACC dog A dog waits to be adopted from Pima Animal Care Center
Candace Manriquez Wrenn

The Pima Animal Care Center is having its busiest December in recent memory. In addition to managing overcrowding in the shelter, staff are making time to work with residents to provide care for strays in their neighborhoods.

PACC Spokesperson Nikki Reck said people are adopting and fostering at the same rates they would most years, but there are still a lot of animals.

She also said that if you see a stray, the best solution might not be to take it to the shelter.

“If you find a stray pet, and you keep it in the area where it's found — AKA your neighborhood — you have a better chance of getting them back home within one day,” Reck said.

The center is helping residents who find strays with pet supplies, flyers and paperwork if they can house the animal temporarily until the owner is found.

PACC is also telling residents it is OK to give a pet as a gift, as long as they go about it in a responsible way.

Reck said pets should never be given as a surprise, but if the recipient is ready for a pet and active in the selection process, it could be a great way to get a shelter animal into a loving home.

“Make the gift a coupon for one free adoption at PACC covered by you, so that they can pick their own pet, but you cover the adoption fees,” Reck said. “Or, you can wrap up a stuffed animal, cat or dog or whatever and do the same thing.”

She said the shelter is so packed, the staff is putting dogs wherever there is room, including their offices.

Dulo the 8-year-old mix is her officemate.

“He's really goofy and cuddly and kissy, and he keeps trying to get in my lap while I try to, you know, work on stuff," Reck said.

She added that if you can’t foster or adopt, the shelter could still really use donations and supplies. And, social media shares can go a long way in finding a pet a new home.

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