With the shift to online classes, more University of Arizona students are spending time indoors. Many students are faced with feelings of loneliness and isolation as a result of this virtual format, which leaves them seeking new ways to fill the need for a companion.
In response, some UA students have taken advantage of the benefits offered at animal shelters like Pima Animal Care Center, located at 4000 N. Silverbell Road.
The adoption and fostering facility offered at PACC allows anyone the opportunity to take in a pet during these lonely times.
One of PACC’s main goals is to get as many animals placed into suitable homes as possible. Therefore, they created a fostering and adoption system that is quick and efficient.
The process starts with an online application that gives the fostering coordinators information as to what a student's home setup is like and what you're willing to take in. Depending on the type of pet students want, the processes for fostering may vary.
Finally, students schedule an appointment where they are able to go to the shelter for a walk-through to see the animals that are available.
Caylee Ison, a nutritional sciences major at the UA, explained how the extra time at home this year has allowed her and her roommates to foster a cat.
“During the semester, my roommates and I got lonely and were needing an extra friend around the apartment, so we decided to get a cat,” Ison said.
Ison visited PACC and walked down the many aisles of cages and glanced at the variety of cats in need of a stable living situation.
Once she chose her cat, she was informed of their medical history and any other previously reported problems.
“My fostering experience with PACC has been extremely easy and helpful because they gave us all of the necessary items needed to foster a cat in our apartment, so we did not have to go out and buy things separately,” Ison said.
Kylie Kuchik, an information sciences and eSociety major, also applauded the care center's fostering process.
“It is an easy process to foster through PACC and then when they find the right family, the adoption process is just as easy for me and the new family as well,” Kuchik said.
Kuchik said that she knew adopting a pet while attending school is a responsibility she is not prepared to take on, so she is thankful to have access to fostering and help to potentially get the animals adopted and out of the shelter.
“I would recommend other students to foster through PACC as well because it is a great opportunity for you and the animal because you are able to enjoy the companionship with the cat or dog but don’t have to take on the responsibility of adopting them,” Kuchik said.
Rosio Reyes, a PACC Foster Coordinator, explained that the efforts of UA students have highly impacted the care center and have contributed towards lowering the rates of incoming animals.
“There are lots of support from UA students and students from other schools who come in and want to support our cause, take in our animals, help us learn more about them and help us market for adoption,” Reyes said.
Although the pandemic has presented many challenges throughout the past few months, animal care centers like PACC have noticed more animals were being fostered and adopted and less were being brought in.
This has given them the chance to focus on the animals who require more urgent care. Since these animals were the ones who tend to have a difficult time receiving a suitable home, they now have the ability to provide them with additional attention and guide them towards a better placement.
In this new year, PACC is hoping to progress its program and get as many animals rehabilitated and placed into homes as possible. In addition to this, they are pushing to change the outlook on animal welfare according to Reyes.
“We are focusing a lot on providing support and building programs to support the community and keep animals in their homes so they don’t have to end up in the shelter or in the streets,” Reyes said.
PACC services remain available to all members of the community willing to support their cause and hope to see even more participation in the future. To learn more about their services and appointment times, visit their website.
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