Horrible overcrowding leads to fights and chaos at beleaguered animal shelter

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The Pima Animal Care Center, in Tucson, Arizona, is having a crisis because there are too many animals, and nowhere to keep them all. On Sunday, shelter volunteer Christy Holliger posted images of a dog named Chato, with an explanation for the emergency situation at the facility, in the Arizona Rescue Facebook group. She writes:

There were 4 terrible fights (that I know of, probably more) in 24 hours because we have nearly 500 dogs and there is NOWHERE TO PUT THEM ALL! 🆘‼️I cannot emphasize enough that this shelter overcrowding is an EMERGENCY‼️

And sharing Chato’s story as an example of the distress this situation is causing for dogs at the facility:

Chato ❤️ These pictures are 12 hours apart 💔😭Last night I left the shelter feeling good. Times are incredibly hard there right now and some days feel hopeless, but it was a good day. The last dog I visited with before I left was sweet senior Chato. He is 9. I love this darling boy and he was recently returned from foster. He was cohoused with another smaller dog. There are no kennels. Every dog possible must share a kennel. He’s been cohoused many times and has always done well. His new buddy was a bit of a rambunctious puppy but they were getting along just fine all week. I took them out at 6pm and the puppy ran and played while Chato just wanted love. I took this photo, gave him a kiss, put them away and went home after a long day.

She continues:

This morning at 6 am Chato was found severely wounded, bleeding and in shock with bite wounds all over his head and neck. The clinic has been trying to get him stabilized all day. He’s a total mess and I’m praying he can recover from this. 💔

She outlines what is happening at the facility:

I cannot emphasize enough that this shelter overcrowding is an EMERGENCY‼️ The noise is deafening and the stress level is through the roof for every dog. When dogs are crowded into small, loud, stressful kennels with dogs they don’t know, this is what happens. It’s like playing whack-a-mole to try to get ahead of problems before something like this happens. It’s impossible. I have volunteered for 9 years and I have never seen anything like this. 😢

The overcrowded conditions will lead to unwanted shelter animals being put down.

Hard decisions are having to be made. Decisions that haven’t had to be made for many years. There is no space and options have run out. The dogs and cats most at risk are going to be ones with serious medical issues that we are used to being able to help. And behavior. The first dogs to be put on a deadline will be the ones with history, the ones who are most affected by the noise and stress and step out of line and make a mistake. Dogs we have always had more time to help. It’s already happening. Please help. Spread the word that PACC and all shelters are experiencing an overcrowding crisis. We desperately need fosters, adopters, volunteers and for the public to pick up their lost pets and to find other options than dumping their pets into a terrible situation.

Visit the Pima Animal Care Center Website to see the various ways that you can help. If you live in the area, please consider volunteering, or fostering for the shelter. And always, adopt if you can!

Follow the National Animal News Facebook page for more news, updates and petitions.

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1 reply
  1. Bunny Peters says:

    I wonder if any of these precious treasures could be transferred up to northern shelters where there is a lack of “adoptable animals”?


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