Friends of Pinal Celebrates One Year as a Non-Profit

Joy Wegner

Friends of Pinal County Animal Shelter & Rescues (Friends of Pinal) is celebrating one year of non-profit status and one year of helping with vet care for the Pinal County Animal Care & Control (PCACC) dogs and cats. The organization helps dogs and cats get vet care the shelter cannot provide. It also helps non-profit rescue groups who take animals out of the shelter to get vet care.

Mera Laureys of SaddleBrooke, founded the organization to fill a void of medical care for animals at Pinal County’s shelter in Casa Grande. Three other PCACC volunteers from other parts of the county, Julie, Kathy, and Alice, joined Mera’s efforts. The group has been humbled by the support they have received in 2020.

Friends of Pinal has been able to help several dogs and cats receive surgery for cancer, treatment for seizures, dental work, and treatment for valley fever, among other medical issues. One recent successful vet treatment happened with a dog surrendered to the shelter because she was not able to deliver her puppies. She needed an emergency cesarean section. Because no vets were working at the shelter that day, a PCACC staff member found a private vet who took on the daunting task of saving the life of the young dog. Unfortunately, the puppies had already passed away. With the coordinated care of shelter staff, a kindhearted veterinarian and the generosity of donors, the dog’s life was saved and she has been adopted.

Recently, PCACC has been able to increase on-site veterinary expertise to include three vets, each working one day a week. The increase in veterinarian activity has brought about needs not realized when no vets were on staff. The clinic room is in need of equipment to provide surgeries. With the generosity of their donors, Friends of Pinal has been able to purchase some much-needed medical equipment, such as a dental machine that enables on-site dental treatments for both dogs and cats, as well as an orthopedic surgical instrument pack. The first animal to benefit from the surgical instrument pack was a dog who was able to have her knee repaired. All of this is done to help dogs and cats become more adoptable.

Contributions come from animal lovers at SaddleBrooke Pet Rescue Network, SaddleBrooke Dog Park, SaddleBrooke Ranch, and other contributors, all with hearts for animals and skills to support the medical needs. The charity group takes deep responsibility to use funds as quickly as possible toward the animals or items most in need. Individual animals that receive help from the group are followed for as long as necessary to ensure the medical attention they receive is completed to a recovery stage. This has allowed them to be adopted.

The one-year anniversary of Friends of Pinal brings wishes for continued financial support of the veterinary needs at PCACC. Though the shelter is a department of Pinal County, county budgets do not cover the full costs of blood panels, tests and treatments for disease, clinic equipment and long-term care for severely injured or sick animals. Friends of Pinal hopes to continue to fill the gaps! You can see this progress when you follow them on Facebook,, or visit the charity’s website at