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Pima Animal Care Center Expects to Break More Records with Cat Pawsitive Pro

By Rachel Loehner

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As one of the largest lifesaving shelters in the United States, and serving the greater Tucson area in Arizona, Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) witnessed a record-breaking year in 2017. PACC took in 17,000 pets last year and experienced an impressive adjusted save rate of 91%.

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On average, 16 cats entered their shelter daily last year, and PACC adopted out about ten each day. The staff and volunteers at PACC know that numbers are important, but it’s the individual lives saved that drive their efforts and that is why they’re looking forward to participating in the Cat Pawsitive Pro 2018 Spring Semester. 

“We are incredibly grateful to Jackson Galaxy [Project] for this opportunity,” PACC Director of Animal Services Kristen Auerbach says. “Being part of this program means we can count on resources to effectively enrich the lives of our cat population and promote healthy outcomes for each one of them. This program empowers not only our staff, but also our volunteers which falls right in line with our goal to educate our community on best animal practices.”

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At this time, many cats without behavioral issues are being reserved or adopted within one to three days of entering the PACC shelter. However, many of their social cats who need behavioral training stay at the shelter for two to three weeks or longer, with higher return rates. And some of the under-socialized cats can have a length of stay that reaches up to two to three months, sometimes as high as six months.

These cats will certainly benefit from Cat Pawsitive Pro. Stephanie Stryker, the Cat Care Coordinator at PACC, says, “I think this program will benefit our cats by helping us learn more about them, enable us to provide our under-socialized cats with additional alternatives to our working cats program, and enable them to adapt better to a home environment. I think it will also benefit the cats by helping adoptions ‘stick,’ particularly with our cats that get overstimulated and need behavioral redirection.”

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But it’s not only the cats that will benefit from Cat Pawsitive Pro. Stryker says, “I think volunteers will get to tangibly see the difference they are making in the lives of each individual cat that they work with, as well as enjoy being an integral part of behavioral modification that creates additional placement options for cats that traditionally have had limited available outcomes.”

And in addition to the volunteers, Stryker adds: “I think staff will enjoy getting to interact with cats in different ways than we do currently, enjoy seeing the progress made and hopefully see lower return rates due to behavioral issues.”

One of the key points of the program, though, is that it will benefit future shelter cats as well, not just the ones participating in the Spring Semester. Stryker says, “I’m really excited to take what we learn during the Cat Pawsitive Pro program and use it to build a foundation for future programs with our cats – and maybe teach the dogs a thing or two, too!”

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Want to keep up with news about the lifesaving work of The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive Pro initiative? Follow us on Facebook at The Jackson Galaxy Project. You can support our work by making a tax-deductible donation today. The Jackson Galaxy Project is a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org.