After reading “Animal shelters filling up in Southern Arizona,” printed in The Explorer     last month, I felt compelled to share my experience of adopting a dog from the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC).

When I moved to Oro Valley in early February, one of the first things I wanted to do is adopt a dog. I contacted a breed specific rescue organization, but they did not have any dogs in the Tucson area at the time, so I decided to move on. I read that PACC was holding an adoption event at Petsmart in Oro Valley and was determined to go.

When I arrived, I was attracted to the first dog I saw. She was a sweet little mix handled by a gentleman volunteer who was as helpful as can be. He told me she was Australian Herding Dog/Blue Heeler mix who was approximately three years old. Her name is Angie, and she was abandoned at the shelter by her owners. I observed her behavior as she continued to grow on me, and at that point, I couldn’t walk away. She was scared and was shedding terribly (most likely from stress). I told the folks from PACC that Angie was the dog for me.

When I got Macie (I changed her name) home, she latched on to me immediately, following me throughout the house and wanting to be near me at all times. I was touched by this. She simply wanted to be accepted and loved. I found that she was very untrusting and timid around people, especially adults, so I began socializing her by taking her to any local event I could find. Every now and then, we even drop in the Home Depot or Petsmart, which are both pet friendly businesses.

Dealing with PACC was a pleasure. The staff and volunteers were all great with hearts as big as can be. It disheartenimg me to read in the article that 28,000 animals pass through their facility each year. I don’t know the number of those that must be euthanized, but it saddens me to think that could have been Macie’s fate. What a horrible loss that would have been.

One month later, Macie is progressing wonderfully.  She approaches most people now with the thought of a pat on the head in mind. While I didn’t get the purebred dog that I originally was looking for, I got something much better. I have a loyal friend and companion who just needed a little bit of patience, attention and love. That alone has been such a rewarding experience for me.  Other than the desire for constant petting and food, I have no idea what runs through Macie’s mind, but something tells me that she seems to appreciate that I rescued her from the shelter. However, little does she know how much I appreciate the joy she has brought into my home.

I have no affiliation with any of the shelters or rescue organizations in the community, only the positive experience of adopting Macie. With that in mind, I would like to say that if you are considering a pet and have the space in your home and heart, please consider rescue.  There are many wonderful animals out there just looking for a good home and lots of love.

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