With good reason, traditional orphanages are extinct in the U.S. today. Rather, children are placed with other family members, privately adopted, or placed with foster parents. We’ve learned over time that institutionalized care isn’t the best option for children. How long will it be before we, as a society, come to this conclusion for animals as well.
As you probably heard, animal adoptions increased dramatically during the pandemic when people wanted company while stuck at home. Unfortunately, when those conditions changed, animal surrenders to shelters also exploded. The unprecedented demand found shelters struggling to find the staffing and funding they needed to deal with the workload. Even now, Pinal County Animal Care and Control (PCACC) has kennel space for 140 dogs but typically houses two to three times that amount. The top reasons for animals being surrendered to shelters include: the owner already having too many animals, housing issues, caretaker or family health/death, non-aggressive behavior/personality, and financial concerns. Another contributing factor is, no doubt, a commitment to a no-kill philosophy, which is (according to bestfriends.org) what 85% of the public wants. Further evidence of this desire is that the percent of no-kill U.S. shelters doubled from 24% in 2016 to 52% in 2021. Friends of Pinal County Animal Shelter and Rescues is proud of our role in helping PCACC achieve their 97.4% live-release rate by supporting lifesaving veterinary care.
Our Pinal County shelter currently has 42 dogs who have been living at the shelter for more than 180 days, with an average stay of one year. Even the best of shelters can be a noisy and stressful place, especially for those animals who have already experienced trauma such as abandonment, abuse, or neglect. Most of these dogs just need a safe, structured, and loving environment to help prepare them for eventual adoption. Fostering is the best way to do this while also helping free up space in the shelter for additional animals to receive the care they need.
There aren’t many win-win-wins out there, but this is definitely one. Please consider fostering a Pinal pup. For more information about the dogs needing fostering and the support available for fosters, please go to friendsofpinal.org/foster-adopt or email us at [email protected].