PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — The kennels are overflowing at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC), this Winter.
"Currently we have about 370 dogs, so it's a lot. It's a lot more than we typically have this time of year. We've seen a large influx of animals coming in due to abandonment because of eviction and people having a hard time finding a place to live with their pets," said PACC Director of Animal Services, Monica Dangler.
That's already enough to take on, but the rise in COVID cases is only making day-to-day operations more challenging.
"We're starting to see lots of staff needing to go out for COVID and personal reasons, as well," said Dangler.
Dangler said the center has been forced to operate with skeleton crews.
"If we don't have staff to care for them, it's going to start back logging us and put in a position to make hard decisions that we don't want to make," said Dangler.
Because of that, PACC is making an urgent plea for local families to consider fostering a shelter animal.
"Each one is so unique, so different and so loving. They're yours for that period of time," said PACC Foster, Joey Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald has fostered over 300 kittens. She allows them to experience life outside the shelter and alleviate work for staff.
"When you have a kitten that maybe is unsocialized and they learn to trust you, it's the best thing in the world. It's like winning the lottery," said Fitzgerald.
While PACC is light on fosters, some of their staffed have stepped up to help. Animal Protection Officer, Lisa Schrope, rescued a dog after he suffered an attack. She is now caring for him at work and home.
"He's been with us about a week now. He loves our other dog. He's great with our kids," said Schrope.
It's a small sacrifice to help the dog, and so many other animals, find their "fur-ever" home.
"You are literally saving a life when you foster an animal," said Schrope.
To learn more the foster program at PACC, click here.
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