Heat 'crisis' forces PACC to take extreme measures - Tucson News Now

Heat 'crisis' forces PACC to take extreme measures

(Source: KOLD News 13) (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A place that is typically so welcoming has turned extremely restrictive because of recent extreme high temperatures. But these are the measures Pima Animal Care Center said they have to take for safety purposes.

"When it gets as hot as it is right now, and it's going to be next week, we go on high alert for the dogs that are housed in our pup tent," PACC spokeswoman Karen Hollish said. "The worst case scenario is that our community isn't able to come out and adopt or foster pets, and we have to put more dogs in the tent than we want to put in the tent."

She's referring to the large white tent on the PACC property. In a news release, the organization said they are blocking off access to the "pup" tent.

"Dogs susceptible to heat exhaustion - such as dogs who are overweight, elderly, heavy coated, and short nosed - are being moved to a separate row in the shelter," the news release said. "It is critical to maintain a cool temperature in the tent, which means we must limit human activity as much as possible during this crisis."

But that didn't stop people, like Deena Chamberlain, from entering the main office and indoor shelter to find her new companion.

A playful, joyful growl signified a sign of excitement for Chamberlain's new puppy. She adopted a 3-month-old dog, and will be taking him to her cool home.

"He's got a lot of personality. He's already been talking to us, and I think he'll be perfect," Chamberlain said, smiling.

Her home is an oasis, and a chance to leave behind the hot stress of the shelter.

"Oh, the stress level of our staff and volunteers absolutely goes up when the heat level goes up," Hollish said.

PACC is waiving adoption fees for all adult dogs through Wednesday, June 21, to clear up space in the shelter..

The organization is also looking for dog foster volunteers, and is asking people to sign up HERE.

"We want to save every savable pet we can possibly save. If we have a tent full of 100-plus dogs in this heatwave, we're not going to be able to do that," Hollish said.

But it's that same heatwave that swept Chamberlain into the PACC offices, as she saw an opportunity to help.

"It's got to be miserable for them," Chamberlain said. "Here they are all alone and they don't know what their future holds. To be hot on top of it, that's awful."

Hollish said construction is underway to get at least the first phase of their new facility up and running by December.

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