Volunteers Needed to Temporarily House Sick Dogs

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Volunteers Needed to Temporarily House Sick Dogs

Pima Animal Care Center is looking for community members willing to help provide housing for two weeks for fifty dogs in need.

These animals were exposed to pneumovirus,  an upper respiratory illness that, if left untreated, can develop into pneumonia.

Help from the community will make a huge difference to these animals and the Pima Animal Care Center,, which had 100 dogs in need of temporary homes last week. With many residents stepping up, only 50 dogs exposed to pneumovirus still need a place to stay.

“We have about 50 dogs who are healthy, but have been housed in the same kennel area as a dog that got sick,” said PACC Director of Animal Services Kristen Auerbach in a press release. “This means these dogs are facing two to three weeks of strict isolation if we cannot find alternative housing for them.”

PACC officials have spent several months trying to contain the virus to isolation areas, but they have determined that they best way to end this outbreak moving forward is to remove all exposed dogs out of the shelter. This means they need to recruit temporary caregivers with no other dogs or the ability to keep exposed dogs separated from others in five days. When the two-week period is up, caregivers can bring the dogs back to the shelter for adoption. Caregivers will need to avoid pet stores and dog parks, where the illness can easily spread. When the two-week period is up, caregivers can bring the dogs back to the shelter for adoption.

Those interested in helping out can visit PACC’s shelter during business hours (noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends) and let staff know they want to house a dog exposed to pneumovirus. They will then be taken to the tent area where all the exposed dogs are kept, and select an animal to take home. To speed up the process, staff will process paperwork on the spot once dogs have a temporary housing commitment.

“We just need 50 people in our community to help and we can solve this. It’s only a two-week commitment and will mean the world to a shelter dog who otherwise faces isolation in a kennel in our tent area for the next 14 days,” Auerbach said in the press release. 

Exposed dogs range from small dogs such as a tiny poodle and chihuahua to a young German shepherd and everything in between. Temporary homes are needed for all of them.

For more information on housing a pneumovirus exposed dog, community members can email Liz.Cardarelli@pima.gov or Samantha.Nellis@pima.gov or call PACC’s Pet Support Center at (520) 724-7222. For other ways to help PACC pets, visit PACC’s website.

Photo: Pima County 

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