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  • Top Save of 2016: Meet Roo, who is rolling thanks to you!

    Dec 31, 2016 | Read More News
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    rooBecause Pima Animal Care Center is your community shelter, its Animal Care Officers have the tough job of rescuing pets from hoarding situations. That means a day that starts out "normal" for them could morph into a day where they save over 40 cats from a trailer, more than 100 tiny turtles from a motel room, or -- as was the case with Roo, a Chihuahua born with no front legs -- 40 small-breed dogs from a single Pima County home.

    It was Sept. 4 when Roo and her friends, who had been living in very crowded conditions, came to PACC. After PACC's dedicated volunteer groomers removed their painful mats, and PACC's medical team made sure they were healthy and altered, they all quickly all found new families.

    It was much harder for Roo, age 1. PACC's doctors believe in breeding caused her problems.

    Despite Roo's condition, she had done the best she could to get around her former home, hopping and launching herself toward food, water, and safe places that were out of the way of the 39 other dogs. Still, this was hard on Roo's small body, and she also came to PACC with a very injured hip.

    As our community's open-door shelter, PACC does not turn away any pet in need, which means it takes in thousands of pets each year who need treatment for conditions like broken bones, dental disease or valley fever. It's a serious struggle for PACC to save pets like Roo, who needed a wheelchair and specialty orthopedic surgery that would total nearly $3,000. As your county shelter that takes in nearly 20,000 pets a year, investing that much of PACC's precious resources on one pet is not feasible.

    But because so many private supporters stepped up to help Roo, PACC was able to give her a second chance. After seeing Roo on the local news, friends like you gave more than $15,000 to PACC's nonprofit partner, the Friends of PACC, so she could get help. That outpouring of support meant the Friends was not only able to help Roo, but two other dogs whose needs outstripped our internal resources.

    With the thousands of medically needy pets PACC takes in each year, it will remain difficult for PACC to help pets like Roo, and it will continue to rely its caring rescue groups and community partners to help save the most vulnerable PACC residents.

    But just like the parvo pups, the working cats, and the memory care kittens, in the case of Roo, the community allowed PACC to do something different in 2016. The community made it possible for the county shelter to push its lifesaving limits, once again, and PACC is so grateful.

    But back to Roo: Who wants a dog with no front legs?

    rooosIt turns out, tons of people! After she was seen by over 93,000 people on the Dodo, Roo was besieged by prospective adopters. But as you may expect, Roo's foster mom, Joanne, never plans to let her go.

    Joanne has delighted in watching Roo, who was terrified of life when she first came to PACC, blossom into a confident and joyful dog. Now Roo uses her cart for meal time, snuggles with her people, and plays with the other special-needs pets who occupy Joanne's home and heart.

    Earlier this week, PACC found inspiration for forgiveness from Francesca, who was shot 38 times but holds no grudge. As our community enters 2017, all can also find inspiration from Roo's unfaltering resiliency, determination and grace. Despite having only two legs, our "Rosie Roo" adjusts to her circumstances without a single complaint.

    Couldn't everyone learn from that?

    "She doesn't even know she's disabled," Joanne said. "She just goes."

    Pima Animal Care Center’s annual Top 10 Saves series highlights ten remarkable uestions, call (520) 288-1151 or write karen@friendsofpacc.org. pets who were saved at Pima County's shelter because of the community’s support. To help continue this progress, donations to PACC’s nonprofit partner, the Friends of Pima Animal Care Center, are being doubled, up to $20,000 through Dec. 31. Donations can be made here online, or by sending a check to "Friends of Pima Animal Care Center," P.O. Box 85370, Tucson, AZ 85745.