Each week residents from northwest Tucson volunteer their time at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) by taking part in walking the dogs or by helping at off-site adoptions. Though it may seem like a small act of kindness, volunteers are considered to be an enormous help to the animal shelter.
“There are so many dogs that need to get out of their kennels and be walked each day,” said Jan Pede, leader of the SaddleBrooke Tuesday Team. “Working at the shelter can be emotional but we’ve found as a group that we give support to each other.”
Every Tuesday, the SaddleBrooke team walks dogs at Christopher Columbus Park – an area that the county has given the animal shelter access to. The time out of the kennels allows the dogs to socialize with humans as well as get some fresh air and exercise. Gail Spahr, a volunteer from a group in Oro Valley, has always had a passion for dogs and soon found herself volunteering at the animal shelter in March of this year.
“I truly find this volunteering one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” said Spahr. “My heart just breaks because each of these dogs has a story. They just need a family that loves them, nothing extraordinary, just love.”
Right now the dogs at PACC receive love from each of the volunteers. Apart from walking the dogs, volunteers help at off-site adoptions, which normally occur on the weekends. Brian and Debbie McGlynn, residents of Oro Valley, help a few times a month.
“There have been times where we’ve had 100-percent success in finding families for all the dogs,” said Brian. “It’s one of the most joyful feelings being able to see the dogs react well with the families and seeing them be adopted.”
Like many others, PACC deals with the daily problem of an overcrowded animal shelter. It is critical for the animals to get out of the kennel, said Brian who goes on to say that sometimes kennels have more than three dogs in them.
Almost every weekend, PACC chooses a spot to set up an area to adopt dogs. If a dog has already been altered than they can be adopted and go directly home with the family. PACC regularly sets up adoption sites at La Encantada and the Oro Valley PetSmart – a few times a month. The animal shelter is still in need of more volunteers to walk the dogs each week. If people are interested in volunteering they can call PACC at 243-5900 or visit their website at pimaanimalcare.org.